It’s a year since I started down the road looking at sawn timber retail prices in Australia.
Part of the reason is the lack of publically available market-based stumpage prices for blackwood.
What I have found is blackwood timber pricing that is all over the place.
Here’s a summary of the four timber price lists I have found so far.
Here we have Select grade blackwood selling for the same price as Radiata pine at Bunnings Hardware, and with no price premium for larger dimension timber.
I hate to think what the grower of this blackwood got paid for their logs!
Blackwood doesn’t have a future at these prices.
This price list looks much better. It even has a modest 5.8% price premium for sizes above 25mm. And with the recent 15% price increase we are beginning to rival global premium timber prices.
If this was the standard retail price for Select grade blackwood we might get some investor interest.
This price list seems very confused. It offers a price premium for both small and large dimension timber (width), but this premium decreases with increasing timber thickness!?
A huge ranges of sizes are offered, in two length classes.
However these prices equate to Select Grade Tas Oak prices at Bunning. These prices are not those for a premium timber species.
Yet another road to blackwood ruin.
And finally we have retail prices for Hydrowood blackwood, which are much cheaper than Tas Oak at Bunnings.
Bargain basement salvage blackwood timber designed to destroy the blackwood industry.
In summary we have kiln dried select grade blackwood timber available from $2,500 to over $8,500 per cubic metre, with most price lists setting no price premium for larger dimension timber. In one case there is a negative premium for large dimension timber!
It’s complete market chaos!
With so much taxpayer-subsidised blackwood in the marketplace it’s impossible to know what the real market price for blackwood timber is.
It is certainly not a growers market, and if growers can’t make any money then blackwood doesn’t have much of a future.
The only basis for a successful forest industry is profitable tree growing.
This is what happens when Government and industry policy dictates that the forest industry must be a community service and not a business.