The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) Global Conifer Sawlog Price fell 5.8% to US$85.92 per m³ during the third quarter of 2008.

The figure is based on sawlog prices in 19 global regions, with western Canada, Sweden, Germany, New Zealand and the Baltic states seeing the largest decline in prices, with weak demand undermining international timber markets. It is one of the largest quarterly declines since the index was first published in 1995.

Canada, particularly coastal British Columbia (BC), was left susceptible by the faltering US housing market, with Douglas fir and hemlock sawlog prices down around 10% from the second quarter and more than 20% from the third quarter of 2007. Timber production in BC was down 24% year-on-year in quarter three, as curtailments and closures continue across the region.

Nordic countries saw the biggest fall in log prices in Europe, with weak demand for timber in Japan, the US and local markets pegging back prices, which were between 5% and 10% lower quarter-on-quarter.