Welcome to the 2021 F&W Market Update, where we share the latest news from our regional managers on timber markets and other developments that impact forest landowners in F&W’s operating footprint. The information in this report is based on a survey of managers from Jan. 22-26. We hope you continue to find these updates useful and we welcome your feedback and suggestions.
Most Southeastern managers report timber activity and prices to be picking up and increasing, with the overall market an even mix between normal for this time of year to above normal. The manager in northeast Florida reports that the Binderholz Group is reopening the old Klausner lumber mill at Live Oak, Fla., and Georgia-Pacific’s pulp mill in Perry is slowly increasing capacity from the curtailment due to the pandemic. The manager in South Carolina reports that the New-Indy mill in Catawba, S.C., started a new paper machine in January, replacing the one that went offline last May. Several managers state that pine chip-n-saw is doing quite well, with the manager in South Carolina stating that prices are at or above historical levels with good market demand. The manager in Alabama concurs: “Prices are above ‘normal’ (at least compared to the last couple of years) for chip-n-saw across most of our region. Market feedback suggests this should continue through at least the first quarter. As is common this time of year, timber sales that are wet weather-operable and accessible can bring a significant premium. Pulp markets are relatively flat.” The manager in Virginia states that an extremely wet fall, followed by a wet start to winter, “created spot price opportunities for tracts with immediate access and ground conditions to support logging.” The manager in Florida says, “Markets remain good and increasing for solid wood products across the region. Pulpwood demand remains strong in some sub-regional locations.” The manager in Southwest Georgia said there have been significant increases in chip-n-saw prices and moderates increases for sawtimber in the last few weeks.
U.S. West Gulf
Managers in the West Gulf report normal timber activity and prices, with sales activity ticking up. The manager in Texas reports that mills are periodically shutting down for short-term periods of one to three days depending on inventory, while the manager in Mississippi states that the wet weather is keeping mills open and increasing demand and pushing “prices back to normal for this time of year.” The Texas manager says buyers are looking for dryer tracts as the wet season progresses, and the manager in Arkansas reports that Highland Pellets plans to spend $135 million to upgrade and expand its facility at Pine Bluff.
Northeastern managers report normal timber sales activity and markets in their region, with prices average to increasing. One New York manager states pulpwood demand is down, impacting some planned harvests, but that hardwood log demand and prices are increasing. The other New York manager reports, “Overall markers are decent with softwood sawlogs in demand with good pricing and hardwood sawtimber also doing well. Pulpwood in the region that goes into free sheet paper like copy and office is still suppressed.” Lastly, the manager in Vermont notes that hardwood and softwood logs are strong. “Hardwood has seen the greatest price increases over the past month and we will continue to see increases there. Hardwood pulp and chips are down and will continue to be down for the foreseeable future.”
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