Timber Market Update from Forest Management Specialists, Inc. 7/28/21

Dear FMS Contact:

A lot has happened since our last timber market update. In general, the combination of a low supply of raw materials at the mill and increased demand for finished forest products have led to higher stumpage prices for landowners. Mills are struggling to keep enough wood due to the recent wet weather and a shortage of loggers. Simultaneously, the demand for pine lumber, cardboard, and all forms of hardwood lumber have increased. Below is a general summary of markets for standing timber in the Mid-South:

Pine chip-n-saw and sawtimber. While pine lumber prices have already retreated from their all-time high, mill expansions and new mill announcements should keep stumpage prices from falling back to pre-covid levels for a while. The stumpage prices for middle size and large pine products are good throughout our operational area. However, the market is especially good in the following counties:
    Alabama: Lamar, Fayette, Marion, Walker, and Winston
    Mississippi: Monroe, Lowndes, and Clay (We also had a really good sale in Lauderdale County, MS)

White oak staves. Excellent! The Tennessee Valley has the best markets for this product at this time.

Grade hardwood sawtimber. Prices for most all hardwood sawtimber remain strong. Markets are great throughout the Mid-South but are particularly strong north of the Tennessee River.

Hardwood pulpwood. These markets have improved dramatically since last summer’s lockdown. Mills are running at capacity and they are finding it difficult to secure enough wood to keep them running. Stumpage prices have improved in North Alabama, NE Mississippi and Central Tennessee. However, prices are exceptionally good in Central Alabama.

Pine pulpwood. Like the hardwood paper mills, they are running at capacity and are finding it difficult to secure enough wood to meet their needs. While you may be able to move clear-cuts, do not expect much of an increase in prices for standing timber.

The bottom line is that this is a good time to sell standing timber. Buyers are scrambling to secure sites that can be harvested during wet weather and are paying a premium. Thank you for your time.

Billy Rye, President