There was little movement in stumpage / timber prices during November/December. There were both price increases and drops, but none of these changes were significant. On a Southwide basis, pine chip-n-saw and hardwood sawtimber increased in price (less than 1 percent) during November/December. Pine sawtimber, pine pulpwood and hardwood pulpwood dropped modestly in price during the two-month period.
On a Southwide basis, pine pulpwood prices fell <1 percent during Nov/Dec ($9.29/ton). The West-South dropped to $8.06/ton (-3.1 percent). The Mid-South and East-South both held steady; the East-South ticked up slightly to $12.85/ton and the Mid-South inched down to $6.94/ton.
Chip-n-saw held its ground in Nov/Dec, gaining 0.4 percent Southwide to $15.74/ton. The East-South dropped nearly 2 percent to $18.07/ton. The Mid-South and West-South both increased to $14.58/ton, a 2.3 percent and 1.5 percent gain, respectively.
Pine sawtimber ticked down to $24.93/ton on a Southwide average. The Mid-South propped up the region gaining nearly 1 percent to $22.15/ton, while the East-South and West-South fell to $25.68/ton and $26.95/ton, respectively.
Hardwood pulpwood prices decreased on a Southwide basis. The East-South was down 2.6 percent to $6.44/ton, the Mid-South fell -5.2 percent ($7.41/ton) and the West-South region dropped -2 percent to $10.34/ton.
Hardwood sawtimber prices remained fairly even on a Southwide basis (+<1 percent). Movement in all three regions was minimal: the West-South was up <1 percent to $31.30/ton, the East-South up <1 percent to $27.92/ton, and the Mid-South down <1 percent to $30.31.
As illustrated in the chart above, after peaking in Jan/Feb 2016, all products were in a declining price trend during 2016. This trend continued in Nov/Dec 2016: All products remained relatively flat or decreased in price. Hardwood pulpwood experienced the greatest decrease from Sept/Oct at -$0.29/ton. Pine pulpwood and chip-n-saw prices are around $1.00/ton less than they were in Nov/Dec 2015, and pine sawtimber prices are $0.70/ton cheaper while hardwood pulpwood is $1.80/ton cheaper.
During the last few months, much of the southeastern US has experienced abnormally dry weather, which has likely played a large role in keeping stumpage prices low during a time of the year when we typically see a boost in prices. In the near term, minimal restrictions in supply and a humble economic outlook for 2017 will likely continue to suppress any large increase in stumpage prices for all products throughout the region.