Following is the latest update on markets, news and other developments that impact forest landowners in F&W's operating regions. This information is based on a Sept. 18 survey of managers.
Regional managers report stable timber markets and mostly normal activity for this time of year while prices remain average. The manager in South Carolina reports activity is picking up while the manager in Tennessee said markets are slow. In Southwest Georgia, the manager reports, "Wet conditions from Hurricane Sally have presented short-term issues with logging but there has been no significant impact on market demand or pricing." The Alabama manager notes that he had two pine log sales that did very well in the last few weeks and he is optimistic that this is an indication of improving stumpage prices ahead, which is in line with the normal annual trend. The South Carolina manager expects a pickup in pine pulpwood prices as paper machines at the New-Indy mill at Rock Hill redeploy next month. He concludes, "Pine sawtimber demand is stable but the price remains depressed. Pine chip-n-saw demand is picking up with prices stable."
U.S. West Gulf
Managers in the West Gulf region report a continuation of below normal timber markets and prices. The manager in Mississippi reports that while prices are down, they do seem to be stabilizing, but the wet weather that they have been experiencing lately in his region "has not affected the oversupply of wood or low demand." The manager in Texas reports, "Pulpwood and chip-n-saw mills in the area are full, thus reducing the stumpage prices and keeping quotas extremely low."
Markets remain mostly normal in the Northeast for this time of year, with average prices. The Pennsylvania manager reports that activity is picking up, and that sawmills indicate there are more timber sales on the market from private consultants this month. The Vermont manager reports that recent shutdowns only further constrict the low grade wood markets in the region: "As it stands now, pulpwood and chipwood quotas will be slim to none until December or January 2021. Hardwood and softwood logs are generally good and moving well." One New York manager reports that overall, wood markets seem to be slowly improving. The other New York manager concurs, saying: "Markets appear to be opening up some as mills try to increase inventories before wet fall weather has an impact on logging production. To date, it's been extremely dry and very good logging conditions." Regarding species, he notes that white pine and spruce/fir are improving in demand and pricing; hardwood logs are in demand although prices have not yet followed; and pulpwood is moving with quotas in place.
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