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F2M Market Watch

Southwide Stumpage Prices – September/October 2013
Posted on November 26, 2013 by Mike Fiery

Over the course of the last year, stumpage prices—the price paid to landowners for standing timber—in the US South have pushed higher.  Pulpwood prices appreciated by more than 20 percent during this period, and sawtimber saw more modest increases.

At the bottom of the pack as far as appreciation is concerned is pine sawtimber. Prices for pine sawtimber moved just marginally higher in 2013. The weighted average price in the September/October period was $24.72, up more than 1 percent from the previous two-month period. In the September/October period of 2012, the weighted average price for pine sawtimber was $24.52; the year-over-year increase was modest, at just under 1 percent. The excess sawtimber that accumulated during the real estate crisis has ensured sufficient supply to meet increased demand, so mills have been able to procure required sawtimber volumes without increasing gate prices.

Stumpage/Timber Prices US South September/October 2013

In 2013, a high level of competition for pine pulpwood has been putting a strain on Chip n Saw supplies across the South, and mills are paying higher prices as a result. The weighted average price of Pine Chip n Saw was $15.01, up 2 percent from the previous two-month period. In the September/October period of 2012, Pine CNS price was $14.15, an increase year over year of more than 6 percent. 

Hardwood sawtimber prices continued to be volatile, a result of mill grade and volume requirements.  Southwide, the weighted average price of hardwood sawtimber in the September/October 2013 period was $23.08, up less than 1 percent from the previous period. In the September/October period of 2012, hardwood sawtimber price was $22.27; this represents a year-over-year increase of nearly 4 percent. 

Pine pulpwood prices are rising across the South.  Mills are building inventory in order to avoid running out of wood in the winter months.  The weighted average price of pine pulpwood was $10.58 per ton in September/October 2013, up nearly 3 percent from the previous period. In the September/October period of 2012, pine pulpwood price was $8.69. The current price is more than 21 percent higher. 

Though it dropped this period, the longer trend for hardwood pulpwood price is upward. The weighted average price of hardwood pulpwood was $7.90 per ton in September/October 2013, down by 14 percent from the previous period. In the September/October period of 2012, however, hardwood pulpwood price was $6.48 per ton. Over this one-year period, price increased more than 20 percent.  Note: Prices are much higher in spot markets in Central/South Alabama and Arkansas.

Expect pulpwood prices to keep rising throughout the winter months.


Billy Morris

Where are these pine pulp prices being paid? It surely isn’t in southeastern NC. If the stumpage price is that high, what is the logging rate for the south?


Suz-Anne Kinney

Your question highlights the fact that timber markets are local. The number and size of wood consuming facilities in an area (on the demand side) and the weather (on the supply side), for instance, vary by wood basin. These factors (and others) drive price changes.

The figures reported here are not local; they are volume weighted averages for the entire US South.

For local pricing, visit our website: http://www.forest2market.com/products/forest2mill/timber-prices


Steven Crawley

The problem with these studies is the information is often times from outer space. I have been dealing with timber markets for 35 years and cover an area of 100 - 150 miles in Eastern NC. This study or your info is not reflective of the real markets; this serves as misleading info to confuse landowners


Tom Busch

Ditto Mr. Morris’ comment.

With the closure of the IP mill at Courtland, Alabama there is an oversupply of pulpwood in the mid-south, at least for the foreseeable future.

Hardwood sawtimber stumpage prices, however, are going higher and their volatility is similar to that seen for pine sawtimber in the mid-90’s.

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