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 an Oct. 30 survey of managers.
Regional managers in the Southeast report timber markets are holding steady for this time of year, with sales activity and prices ranging from normal to picking up. The manager in South Carolina reports that the New-Indy mill at Jonesville, S.C., has begun operation of the chip mill and is accepting pine pulpwood. The manager in Virginia reports that recent wet weather has made it difficult on loggers as they search for dry ground but that these wet conditions have not resulted in any positive price movement. Finally, the manager in Alabama says, "We cover a broad land area from this office and market happenings tell different stories depending on the specific region. There is a general improvement on sawtimber prices, but especially on wood movement across most of the region. A new pole mill was recently announced near LaFayette and that seems to have had an immediate impact on sawtimber pricing. The pandemic brought with it a significant curtailment of hardwood pulpwood, but that market has now rebounded well within most of our operating area. Following yearly trends, this is the time of year that mills work to buy stumpage to build winter inventory—at minimum, that part feels normal right now.”
U.S. West Gulf
In the West Gulf region, two of the three managers report timber markets and prices as average for this time of year. But the manager in Mississippi reports markets and activity as below normal and slowing, stating: “Prices have stabilized but are very low.” He notes that the mills shut down on Fridays and sometimes on Mondays if the weather is dry but remain open all week if there is rain. In Texas, the manager notes that timber activity across the board seems to finally be bouncing back and reaching normal levels. In Arkansas, the manager said demand in the pine sawtimber market still seems to be elevated while other markets in the area are normal.
Managers in the Northeast report timber sales activity and markets to be mostly normal for this time of year, along with average prices. One manager in New York sees a different picture, with below normal markets, but activity and prices seem to be picking up and increasing. He says, “Hardwood pulpwood is still constrained; however, in areas of the state, firewood is moving strong. Hardwood sawlogs seem to be in short supply and mills are actively seeking both logs and stumpage.” The other manager in New York said recent rains have slowed some logging production and that “sugar maple is one bright spot as prices are beginning to increase. White pine and spruce/fir are also increasing in demand and price. Hardwood pulpwood is moving.” The Vermont manager said that the market is generally good for hardwood logs, and demand for softwood logs is increasing, but “pulp and chip wood is down and will continue to be soft for the coming winter season.”
F&W Forestry Services
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