SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The sawmill profits continued to surge during the spring and early summer in 2021 in North America and Europe. The unprecedentedly high lumber prices and comparatively less surge in sawlog costs boosted the sawmill profits to record highs in second quarter of the year, said the latest report released by the Wood Resources Quarterly (WRQ).
The boosted lumber demand coupled with high operating rates at mills led to elevated costs for sawlogs in 2020. The gross margins more than doubled in Europe and almost tripled in North America over the past year. However, the sharp dip in lumber prices led to significant fall in margins during July and August 2021.
The Nordic countries too witnessed increased profit levels for sawmills, though at a slower pace than in Canada and the U.S. The gross margins for sawmills hit the highest level in over 15 years in the Nordic countries.
The profits of Swedish lumber companies rose faster than the Finnish companies. They were mainly benefited by lower sawlog costs and higher share of lumber shipments to key high-paying markets. Meantime, the lower-cost markets such as the MENA region and China served as the primary destinations of Finnish lumber exports.
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