Forest2Market Monthly News

May Poll

If your forest products company is planning capital investments in the near term, in what region will they be focused?

US South
Pacific Northwest
US Northeast/Lake States
Results From April's Poll

Lumber prices have been at all-time highs in recent months. Will this trend continue into 2018?
Can the Lake States Capitalize on Surge in NA Forest Industry Investment?

By Pete Coutu
Despite the recent market volatility, economic optimism is higher than it’s been in over a decade and the forest products industry is well-positioned to grow as a result. GDP growth is positive, lumber prices are at all-time highs in many areas, OSB and panel facilities are running at high capacities, the housing and remodeling markets continue at a steady-to-increasing pace and, after some consolidation and restructuring to meet a changing market, the pulp and paper industry remains active.

Southern Timberland Owners: Are You Requiring $/Ton Bids for Your Timber Sales?

By Jay Engle
When a truckload of cut pine timber crosses a scale at a mill facility, it is the weight of the load itself—not the volume of timber on the truck—that is measured and ultimately purchased. This is a standard practice in the US South that is oftentimes confusing to landowners, who have historically associated volume units of measure, i.e. MBF (thousand board feet) for sawtimber products and “cord” for pulpwood products, with the value of their timber. Unfortunately, when converting from a measure of volume to a measure of weight, variability in results is inevitable.

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices More Volatile in April

By John Greene
After returning briefly to a two-month low point in early April, southern yellow pine (SYP) lumber prices surged to the $480/mbf mark during the latter half of the month. As we enter the peak of the building season, demand is likely to remain steady at least through 2Q2018 Rising lumber prices have already increased the average price of a single-family home by nearly $6,400 since January of 2017 according to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Douglas Fir Log Prices Surge in 1Q2018 Amid Tight Supply, Strong Demand

By Joel Swanton
As the spring thaw in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) begins, prices for Douglas fir logs in the region continue into record high territory. Prices in October 2017 crested at $770/MBF, and they have consistently remained above the $800 level since December 2017 when we predicted that high-quality Douglas fir logs in some regions would be closing in on the $850/MBF mark into the new year.

Reevaluating Winter Log Inventories in the Northeast

By Pete Coutu
Winter fiber inventories in the Northeast are at noticeably higher levels than in years past. Average regional inventory during February was approximately 60 days, which mirrors 2017 inventory for the same time period. However, these levels are well above the average levels maintained during January 2013 through 2016.

Mild Winter Weather Creates Challenges for Scandinavian Forest Industry

By John Greene
While the Scandinavian forest industry is a major contributor to the region’s economy, the sector has faced some tough climactic challenges in recent years. As we noted last month, the winter harvesting and forwarding windows have become shorter due to mild winter weather and rainy summers. Per a recent Bloomberg article, the “unusually mild winters are turning once icy grounds into thick layers of mud capable of swallowing up the 25 ton vehicles used to gather the materials that go into pulp, paper and packaging.”

The Conversion of Planted Forests in Paraná, Brazil and its Effects on the Market

By Marcelo Schmid
The conversion of planted forests to agricultural land in Brazil’s southern region of Paraná is not a recent phenomenon. Over the last several years, Forest2Market do Brasil has observed the change taking place as small and medium-sized producers have given up on forestry and migrated (or returned) towards agriculture.

US Housing Starts: Affordability Crunch Impacting Performance

By John Greene
After tumbling 7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1,236,000 units in February, US housing starts increased 1.9 percent in March to a SAAR of 1,319,000. Single-family starts accounted for 867,000 units, which is 3.7 percent below the revised February figure of 900,000. Starts for the volatile multi-family segment surged 14.4 percent to a rate of 452,000 units in March.

US Forest Industry Performance: March 2018

By Joe Clark
After annual revisions, published in late March, incorporating data from the US Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Manufactures, total industrial production (IP) reportedly increased by 0.9 percent (+4.3 percent YoY) in February. Manufacturing output rose by 1.3 percent (+2.7 percent YoY).