Following is the latest update from F&W reporting on markets, news and other developments that impact forest landowners in their operating regions. This information is based on a July 24 survey of managers.
Managers report mostly average timber activity and markets for this time of year, with a few outliers. Timber prices are a bit more varied, with one report that prices are increasing, another that they are declining, and the rest reporting average prices for the season. Regional managers report no new mill shutdowns. A manager in Southwest Georgia reports that market interest has increased for timber sales along with some upward movement in pricing. The Virginia manager reports that demand for sawtimber is improving but prices remain flat and will stay so due to the oversupply of stumpage and the low mill capacity. In Alabama, the manager reports that pine pulpwood markets are highly variable across his region’s operating footprint: "Southwest Alabama is typically one of our better markets for pulpwood, however quotas are exceptionally tight—we have had multiple buyers request extensions on first thins because they are only able to haul 10 to 15 loads per week." But, he reports there is a flipside: “Sawmills have actually been calling and asking us to put out a sale or are asking for an opportunity to negotiate. Finished lumber prices are strong — this is reflected by the flow of timber — and we hope it will translate into improved stumpage prices as well.”
U.S. West Gulf
Most managers report markets and activity are slow, with most mills on quotas, contributing to a decline in prices. Drax’s Morehouse BioEnergy facility at Beekman, La., is on a scheduled shutdown, and Weyerhaeuser in Emerson, Ark., has been shut down as well. The manager based in Arkansas reports: "With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the area where we operate, some states have changed regulations, so even routine mill shutdowns are taking a lot longer than anticipated. Every timber buyer I have talked to is on some form of quota with their receiving mills."
Northeastern markets and timber prices are average to declining, with most managers reporting timber sales activity normal to slowing down for this time a year, although one manager in New York reports sales activity is picking up. The manager overseeing the upper most region of the Northeast reports that markets are average for many species but that there are strict quotas on hardwood pulpwood. He also reports that the mill at Jay, Maine, is not buying roundwood for the foreseeable future. The manager in Pennsylvania reports that mills are worried about moving pulpwood, blocking, and tie/pallet material, and that there are very few consultant timber sales on the market. In the Central Hardwood region, a manager in Tennessee reports tough prices on all wood products but he’s hopeful for a late fall turn around. In New York, managers report encouraging news: one says he’s been able to market client’s timber with reasonable pricing and that there are a few signs of things picking up in some solid wood sectors. The other manager reports that hardwood log markets are "nothing fantastic" but logs are in demand and moving, pulpwood is moving but contractors are under quotas, and pine log markets are expected to improve in the fall.
F&W Forestry Services
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