2019: the good, the bad and the safety of diversification (a message to you from our Baltic Director)
During the first half of the year, the main issue we were dealing with was dropping timber prices, especially for pulpwood exports to Sweden and Finland. About a year ago, the pulpwood prices had reached a record level with prices of up to 60 EUR/m3 for pulpwood delivered in the harbours. During the next half year, this price dropped to 40 EUR/m3 and has remained relatively stable since then. Even though prices for other assortments were less impacted, this dramatic change of course had an impact on the activities and priorities in the forest. In general, our clients managed to take advantage of the high timber prices, when they were there, and are now holding back a bit, letting the forest grow until prices begin to increase again.
That said, we are still quite far from the dramatic changes we have heard about in Central Europe, where massive bark beetle attacks and droughts have had much more dire consequences for the forest owners. The Baltic forest remains sound and timber prices in the Baltics are still reasonable – but not at the record height it was a year ago.
Perhaps now is then the time to buy forest? During the year we have seen increasing interest in buying more forest among existing and new clients. When speaking to our clients in general, forest is considered a low risk diversification possibility with a proven track record. This has an attraction when uncertainties seem to be growing in a lot of the more traditional financial markets. Whatever the reason, we see the consequences as our combined management area passed the 60,000 hectares mark in October. Compared to a year ago, we now manage close to 15% more forests in the Baltics. No wonder, we feel it has been a busy year.
Forest ownership in the Baltics has proven a good and stable investment with HD Forest for the past 20 years. Increased attention on climate change mitigation and how wood products can be used to store CO2 and substitute more fossil heavy raw-materials will continue to support the increasing demand for wood – which will ultimately benefit the forest owner. We very much like what we do and would still welcome more to join us.
From all of us at HD Forest we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Toredaid Jõulupühi ja
Head Uut Aastat
un laimīgu Jauno gadu
Linksmų Kalėdų ir Naujųjų Metų
Glædelig jul og godt nytår