Following is a quarterly update reporting on markets, news, and other developments that impact forest landowners in F&W’s operating regions. The information in this report is based on a survey of managers the last week of February.
Southeastern managers report that timber markets are mostly normal for this time of year, with average prices. The one exception is Southwest Georgia, where the managers report that markets are above normal with increasing prices. They say there continues to be strong demand for stumpage sales, which they expect to last through late spring/early summer. The manager in Northeast Florida reports timber sale activity is slowing down in his area, and that “spring pulp mill maintenance shutdowns are occurring throughout the region.” He added that dry weather early this spring could initiate wildfire season, something that hasn’t occurred in a few years, and that it could also “allow buyers and mills to catch up on timber sales not completed in previous years.” In Tennessee, the manager reports the Resolute Forest Products (formerly Bowater) paper mill at Calhoun closed in January and pulpwood is being shifted to other markets, but “wet weather has buffered the transition so we will see what happens once it dries out.” He indicates that markets are good and hardwood sawtimber is great. In South Carolina, the manager reports that wood markets are stable but “the logging force remains limited," and that he has had more logger changes recently by wood dealers than in the past.
Managers in the West Gulf region report that overall markets are mostly normal, although the manager covering Northeast Mississippi, West Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky said activity and prices are picking up, and demand is high because of wet weather, which he expects to continue until the summer. The manager in Arkansas reports that there are two new mill starts in Louisiana: Teal Jones Group in Plain Dealing and Hunt Forest Products near Taylor. He adds that markets are slightly below average for this time of year due to dry weather through winter, resulting in most mills being full and on quota. He said as the wet spring weather moves in, stumpage prices should tick up as mills deplete their wood yards. In Texas, the manager reports that all mills are running at normal capacity. He expects high winter prices to decrease as “we move into the growing season and the ground begins to dry.”
Managers in the Northeast region report overall markets and timber sales activity are normal for this time of year, with increasing prices. In Vermont, the manager reports that hardwood and softwood logs are in demand and “firewood is moving well, especially when pulpwood is more difficult to sell.” In Upstate New York, the manager says sawmills and pulp mills are looking to build inventory ahead of the spring mud season, and that both hardwood and softwood sawlog markets are in strong demand with pricing and pulpwood also in demand. The Midstate New York manager says that almost everything is moving well with overall good prices. But he notes that black cherry prices are not increasing and that “pulp prices have not increased, and fuel increases make pulpwood poor.”
Rural Real Estate
Fountains Land agents report that demand for rural properties continues to be high with the overall consensus that COVID-19 is no longer impacting the real estate market. Agents feel that prices are higher from spring 2021 and generally agree that demand will stay strong. Agents attribute this continued demand to low interest rates; remote work options; inflation and economic conditions; demand for more space, recreational properties and rural settings; green investing and evolving carbon markets; and retirement. Several agents mentioned that a low supply of properties for sale is having an impact as well. Another said demand for rural land is expected to remain high as buyers look to invest in something tangible that is uncorrelated to the stock market.
F&W Forestry Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 3610, Albany, Georgia 31706
Visit us at: FWForestry.net