Southwide, pine sawtimber prices fell slightly in Mar/Apr. In the East-South and Mid-South, prices were down 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively, while the West-South price was 1.9% higher. A stall in spring/early summer housing starts is primarily responsible for the minimal movement in sawtimber prices. The Mid-South price was 7% below the Southwide average sawtimber price, while the East-South and West-South were above the Southwide average by roughly 3%.
Southwide pine chip-n-saw prices increased marginally. The East-South price was 12.2% above the Southwide average, while the Mid-South and West-South were 5.8% and 9.1% below. The East-South moved higher, increasing 1.1% Mar/Apr. Mid-South and West-South prices fell by approximately 2%.
Pine pulpwood prices fluctuated between regions, while the Southwide average declined just $0.10/ton. East-South prices were 19.5% above the Southwide average, while Mid-South and West-South prices were below average by 11.9% and 15.7% respectively. Prices within each region showed little change when compared to Jan/Feb, with the Mid-South region price having the most movement, a 3.3% decline.
The Southwide average hardwood pulpwood price increased by 4.2% in Mar/Apr. Hardwood pulpwood increased in the both the West-South and East-South Region, 9.1% and 4.9% respectively. Mid-South price declined slightly. Wet conditions, mainly in the West-South region, have kept prices elevated.
The region average for hardwood sawtimber was virtually unchanged from Jan/Feb. East-South and Mid-South prices declined, 0.2% and 1.2% respectively. West-South price, however, increased from $22.91 to $23.18.
As we move into summer, we expect typical seasonality in prices. The hot, dry summer weather approaching and continued weakness in the housing market are likely to cause pulpwood prices to fall over the next several months, while little upward momentum will build with sawtimber prices.