Forest2Market Monthly News

September Poll

What is the primary cause of disappointing housing starts so far in 2019?

Decrease in Demand
Trend Towards Renting
Battery Ventures Acquires Forest2Market and Fisher International

By Forest2Market
Battery Ventures, a global technology-focused investment firm, announced that it has acquired Forest2Market and Fisher International, Inc., a firm supporting the pulp and paper industry with business intelligence and strategy consulting services. The two companies will continue to operate individually as the transition is planned and implemented.

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices Lose Steam in August

By John Greene
Southern yellow pine lumber prices gained some momentum in early July but have since meandered on a downward trend, illustrating the weakness seen in the new home construction market. Housing starts dropped 4% in July for the third straight month in a row, and the window for a temporary surge is quickly closing as we wave goodbye to the summer months—traditionally the busy building season.

Biased Coverage of Rainforests Impacts Brazil’s Primary Forest Industry

By Marcelo Schmid
Heavily leveraged by the Brazilian media, the rainforest debate has extended well beyond national borders and has been treated as a toxic “bombshell” by some international news agencies, who have even questioned Brazil’s ability to effectively manage and conserve its rainforests. There is a legitimate debate regarding the reliability and methodology of deforestation monitoring and data collection, as well as how that data is aggregated, interpreted and disseminated. However, the debate has resulted in a great deal of confusion and distortions that are then applied, oftentimes erroneously, to the larger Brazilian forest sector.

The Seven Most Expensive Words in Business

By Pete Coutu
There is an old adage said to encompass the seven most expensive words in business: “This is how we’ve always done it.” It is a warning that past success is no guarantee for future success, especially in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology, which itself is evolving at a quickening pace.

CLT and Wood Construction Products Help Combat Anti-Forestry Narrative

By John Greene
Those of us close to the forest products supply chain have watched with great interest as the cross-laminated timber (CLT) and “mass timber” building products industry has exploded over the last decade. While policy drivers such as the Timber Innovation Act and the International Code Council’s change in building codes have assisted in making these products more mainstream, the free market has ultimately driven the remarkable growth of the industry, which is helping the “green” movement to reassess the benefits of wood as well.

Southern Timber Prices Plummet in 2Q2019

By John Greene
After skyrocketing in 1Q2019 due to prolonged wet-weather challenges, southern timber prices reversed course sharply in 2Q2019. Not surprisingly, pulpwood products demonstrated more volatility than did pine log products. However, the overall trend of all timber products was on a considerable slide in the second quarter, as the weighted average price per ton decreased -8.8 percent.

The Log Price Roller Coaster in the Pacific Northwest

By Joel Swanton
Beginning in 1Q2017, prices for domestic and export Douglas Fir and Hem-Fir logs in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) rose steadily before spiking to record levels in 2Q2018. As I wrote in 4Q2018, log and lumber prices in the PNW began to drop precipitously by September of last year as lumber market speculation subsequently waned. We’re now halfway through 2019 and, while prices have meandered up and down minimally since the beginning of the year, the overall decreasing trend is nevertheless stark.

Forest Thinning Projects Improve Forest Health

By John Greene
When it comes to mitigating extreme fire risk, optimizing forest management regimes and improving the overall health and value of a forest, the practice of thinning is an irreplaceable tool. Industry data has repeatedly demonstrated that private forestlands suffer fire damage at a much lower rate than public forests, which is due in part to active forest management (including thinnings) performed by private landowners.

Australia’s Declining Softwood Chip Exports: A ‘Canary in the Mine’ Moment

By Tim Woods
The latest softwood chip export data from Australia demonstrates that the resource is under significant pressure, and there are some other takeaways from the sector as well. If there is a grade of paper or paperboard in which Australia has real global muscle, it is virgin Kraftliner, manufactured from the residues derived from the individual forests that comprise Australia’s softwood plantation estate.

Housing Starts Drop 4% in July

By John Greene
While housing industry watchers haven’t yet given up hope for a late-season rally, the monthly metrics continue to disappoint and the window for a temporary surge is quickly closing. US housing starts dropped once again in July for the third straight month as homebuilding on multi-family housing units tanked, however, a jump in building permits to a seven-month high is keeping the dream alive… for now.

US Forest Industry Performance: July 2019

By Joe Clark
US forest industry performance in June and July was recently reported by both the US government and the Institute for Supply Management. Total industrial production (IP) was unchanged in June, as increases in both manufacturing and mining offset a retreat in utilities; total IP in June was 1.3 percent higher than a year earlier.