Forest2Market Monthly News

November Poll

In 2018, housing starts are on a path to total 1.255 million units. What will housing starts be in 2019?
Lower than 2018
About the same as 2018
Slightly higher than 2018 (1.3 - 1.4 million)
Significantly higher than 2018 (1.5 - 1.6 million)
Results From October's Poll

Did any of the following events affect timber prices in your area this summer?
Housing Start Forecast: What the Next Five Years Really Look Like

By Pete Stewart
Housing start forecasts are overly optimistic, with many in the industry suggesting we'll see 1.6 million housing starts in 2020. These estimates are overblown. Forest2Market’s current forecast for 2020 is 21 percent lower; here's why.

Forest2Market Product Spotlight: Timber Supply Analysis 360

By Forest2Market
Forest2Market recently released Timber Supply Analysis 360, an interactive tool that provides fast, streamlined access to the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis data on growth, inventory and harvests. It also provides access to harvest data in the Pacific Northwest from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WADNR). Timber Supply Analysis 360 is the only tool that allows you to access all of this data in a single platform.

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices Plummet in October

By John Greene
Southern yellow pine (SYP) lumber prices leveled out in September before plummeting to a new 2018 low in mid-October. Forest2Market’s composite southern yellow pine lumber price for week 42 was $392/MBF, a 3.2% decrease from the previous week’s price of $405/MBF and a 4.6% decrease from the same week in 2017. This is also the third week in a row that prices in 2018 have been below prices in 2017.

September Housing Starts Disappoint After Devastating Hurricane Season

By John Greene
US housing starts dropped more than expected in September due primarily to flagging numbers out of the US South, which has been recovering from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Florence. (While it will likely impact housing activity next month as well, Hurricane Michael also affected the region but technically made landfall in early October). Starts in the South—the US region that accounts for the bulk of homebuilding—plummeted nearly 14 percent last month, which was the largest decline since October 2015.

The US/China Trade War & Log Price Trends in the PNW

By Joel Swanton
The quickening pace of the escalating trade disputes between the US and China has left most of us scratching our heads and searching for answers. Retaliatory tariffs, threats of additional tariffs, political posturing, etc. have all added to the sense of confusion surrounding this issue, and finding reliable sources of information continues to be a challenge. While the entire North American forest products industry is impacted by these disputes and tariffs, it is especially frustrating for the forest industry in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), which has historically higher trade volumes due to its proximity to Asian markets.

New Developments Affecting North American Softwood Lumber Prices

By Keta Kosman
It’s still too early to tell how the USMCA will impact the North American softwood lumber trade, and if the potential labor strike will impact near-term pricing. The erratic performance of the US housing market, skyrocketing prices and the widening gulf between the “winning and losing” metro areas, however, is worrisome for the long-term sustainability of a housing market that has slowly clawed its way out of a massive pit since 2008.

Brazilian Lumber Exports Increase to Meet North American Demand

By Marcelo Schmid
Brazilian lumber exports have followed a similar trend as exports from other countries over the last decade, which is to say they have slowly crept back up after tanking in the wake of 2008. The US housing market is the primary driver of global lumber flows, and the Great Recession of 2008 had a lingering, widespread effect on these flows, as well as the local markets where lumber is produced in volume. In many areas, current production remains far below pre-recession levels. In the case of Brazil, however, production has been steadily rising and is on course to return to pre-2008 levels.

The Advantages of Genetic Improvements for Pine and Eucalyptus Plantations

By Jay Engle & Rafael De La Torre
It may seem counterintuitive, but all clones are not the same. On one hand, the definition of a clone is that each individual is genetically identical. On the other hand, you need only look at a specific species to understand that all trees are not genetically alike. Take the loblolly pine, for example, which has a large natural habitat range covering much of the US South—stretching from Texas across the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains and Piedmont all the way to New Jersey.

Data Reinforces Value of a Consulting Forester on Timber Sales

By Joe Clark
In December of 2015, Greg Conner of WoodsRun Consulting Forestry and ACF member, and Forest2Market's Joe Clark collaborated on a blog post on the value of a consulting forester. Recently, Joe analyzed newer full-year data to see if the 2015 conclusions—that timber sales involving a consulting forester offer added value to landowners and that, in most cases, "consultant sales outperform non-consultant sales by a significant margin"—held true in 2016 and 2017.

Surveying Timberland Damage in the Wake of Major Hurricanes

By John Greene
While we don’t yet know the full extent of the destruction that Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused across the southeastern US, it is clear that both storms inflicted massive human and environmental damage that will likely cause fallout for many months, if not years. Both storms also caused significant damage to the region’s agriculture industry, including its dense stands of pine timberland.

US Forest Industry Performance: September 2018

By Joe Clark
Total industrial production (IP) rose 0.4 percent in August (+4.9 percent YoY), its third consecutive monthly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent on the strength of a 4.0 percent rise for motor vehicles and parts; excluding the gain in motor vehicles and parts, factory output was unchanged. The output of utilities advanced 1.2 percent, and mining production increased 0.7 percent; the index for mining last decreased in January.