Although there have been some distinct trends with pulpwood pricing in the first half of the year, the big story with sawtimber is that not much has changed. Regardless of seasonality, the stumpage price of this material (the price paid to the timberland owner) has remained flat (see figure below). Southwide, stumpage price ($/ton) has been plus or minus $0.50 for all of 2012. Currently, pine chip-n-saw is hovering around $14.29/ton and pine sawtimber is at $24.65/ton.
Recent bright spots in both the lumber and housing markets may be cause for optimism, though it is unclear at this point if an uptick in housing starts will trickle down and into landowner pockets. Much of the U.S. economy is in slow growth mode, and housing is no exception. A slow but steady improvement in housing may not be enough to move the needle on stumpage price for some time. As a result, Forest2Market’s stumpage price forecasts are calling for an increase in price in late 2013, but not much until then.
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Your estimate that stumpage prices may escalate in late 2013 may be a bit optomistic because of the ever growing volume at least in the South