Forest2Market Monthly News

April Poll

Lumber prices have been at all-time highs in recent months. Will this trend continue into 2018?

Results From March's Poll

Will sawmill expansions in the US South increase log prices in 2018?
Timberland Prices Rise and Fall, but Ultimately Return to Trend

By Jay Engle
In June of 2011, Pete Stewart wrote one of Forest2Market’s most popular blog posts to date titled “ Are $350 per Acre Timberland Prices around the Corner?” He had just returned from a beach vacation and the blog post focused on some of his observations about coastal housing prices and the trends he recalled over a period of years. He then drew a correlation between trends in coastal vacation properties and trends in timberland pricing, and he found a number of interesting similarities.

Optimize Your Supply Chain to Maximize Enterprise Value

By Pete Coutu
Opportunities for improvement (and saving money) exist at every level of the forest supply chain. Most wood-consuming procurement managers and their teams have already taken advantage of obvious cost savings by eliminating high-cost sources of fiber, low-quality sources of fiber and sources with high freight costs. But where can they look after picking this low-hanging fruit?

More Challenges for New England Biomass as Connecticut Changes RPS

By Eric Kingsley
Connecticut recently released its long-awaited Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which contains bad news (though expected) for biomass in New England. There’s only one biomass plant in Connecticut: the 37.5 MW Plainfield Renewable Energy facility that opened in 2013. However, due to the interconnected nature of New England’s electricity grid, biomass plants across the region that participate in Connecticut’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) will be impacted by the Strategy.

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices Hit New High in March

By John Greene
As we noted last month, Forest2Market’s southern yellow pine lumber composite recently hit its highest level ($450/mbf) since we began compiling the data over eight years ago. But the metric continues to push even higher; after cresting the $450/mbf mark, prices spiked to nearly $490/mbf in early March.

Ravenous Lumber Customers Wait for Wood; Sawmill Expansions on Horizon

By Keta Kosman
Unable to delay buying any longer and deterred by continued high 2x4 prices out of North America’s western region, WSPF (Western Spruce Pine Fir) softwood lumber customers recently shifted their orders to the 2x8 sizes for new order fulfilment. Delivery and backorder issues continue be a problem for a number of these consumers.

Forest Industry in Finland & Russia: Opportunities & Challenges

By Vasylysa Hänninen
With a shared border, similar terrain and climate, tree species and growing seasons, Finland and Russia have dense forests and active forest industries that make use of them. However, a number of supply chain and operational differences exist between the two nations.

Record New Zealand Log Exports Driven by Chinese Demand

By John Greene
China’s building code changes and resulting demand for timber has fueled export growth from a number of global timber producers. However, reduced exports from Canada and Russia have prompted China to increasingly look to New Zealand (and Australia) to fill the gap. Due to its proximity to the large Asian market and robust forest industry, New Zealand experienced record export growth in 2017 that was driven by this demand.

Forest Products Supply & Demand in the Baltics

By John Greene
Due to significantly higher amounts of rainfall and warmer than average winter temperatures, the harvesting window in the Baltics region has been shortened and the forest industry has been impacted. Since last August, Estonia alone has received over 30 percent more rainfall than normal and the above-average air temperatures have prevented the ground from freezing.

US Housing Starts Plunge in February; Challenges on the Horizon

By John Greene
US housing starts dropped more than expected in February. The metric was led by a plunge in the construction of multi-family housing units and increased consternation driven by recent Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) volatility and a broadly slowing housing market.

US Forest Industry Performance: February 2018

By Joe Clark
Total industrial production (IP) edged down 0.1 percent in January (+3.7 percent YoY) following four consecutive monthly increases. Manufacturing production was unchanged (+0.2 percent expected) while both wood products and paper contracted. Mining output fell 1.0 percent, while the index for utilities moved up 0.6 percent.

CLT & Mass Timber Establishing a Global, Mainstream Presence in 2018

By John Greene
Per a recent article in The Guardian, cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other engineered wood products are growing in acceptance because “it is strong, rigid and durable, insulates both heat and sound, and can be prefabricated in factories to high levels of quality and precision. You can make floors, walls, stairs and lift shafts out of it, stacking up panels like an unusually stable tower of dominos.” These are compelling characteristics that will drive further innovation in wood-based materials.