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Blog

Log Prices Strengthen in the Pacific Northwest

October 05, 2009
Author: Suz-Anne Kinney

Log prices in the Pacific Northwest strengthened in August stemming an 18-month slide, according to Forest2Market , a provider of pricing data and analysis for the forest, wood products and bioenergy industries. Diminished log supply and increased emphasis on export shipments led to the increases.

Forest2Market Delivered Price Benchmark data for the Pacific Northwest show that Douglas fir log prices were up for August across the Westside. They were particularly dramatic in the South Willamette Valley, where prices jumped about $30 per MBF. Length pricing data showed a strong inclination to favor longer preferred lengths.

Inland Empire prices for Douglas fir and hem-fir have remained flat over the summer. Changes there were minor.

Western Washington hemlock export markets were very competitive in August; prices were up slightly and volume was strong. Export 2S hem-fir carried a $95 per MBF premium over domestic sawmill logs.

Westside Oregon and Washington hem-fir domestic 6-11” log prices showed a 10 percent jump during August. Douglas fir 6-11”, on the other hand, had an unusually slim premium, only $20 per MBF over whitewood.

These changes in pricing reflect current supply constraints rather than improved markets for lumber, says Gordon Culbertson, Forest2Market’s Pacific Northwest Regional Manager. “Log prices are up nominally; however, they remain $100 per MBF below the highs of 2008. With the upcoming winter construction doldrums and reduced demand, the price increases are likely to be short-lived. It will be at least spring 2010 before lasting recovery will lead a genuine upward trend in prices."

Links:

  • Gordon Culbertson, Pacific Northwest Region Manager
  • PNW Delivered Price/Mill Benchmark Service

Suz-Anne Kinney: +1 980 233 4021 or suz-anne.kinney@forest2market.com
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