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Market Commentary

March 2014

Timber Market Outlook

By Dr. James Henderson, Extension Forestry

Slowly but surely markets for sawtimber are beginning to grow again after the sharp declines seen after the collapse of the U.S. housing market and recession. The Southern Forest Products Association reported southern pine lumber shipments for 2013 reached 15.026 billion board feet (Bbf) which is a 5% increase over the 2012 amount of 14.279 Bbf and a 27% increase over the 2009 volume of 11.279 Bbf. U.S. home construction continues to rise and the forecast is for continued growth. In 2009 the U.S. built about 554 thousand new homes and the forecast is that the U.S. should be building nearly 3 times that volume by 2015. So we are on pace for over 1 million homes built in 2014 and around 1.5 million in 2015. The overall U.S. economy is continuing to grow and recovering from the recession of the 2000's. Reflecting these improvements in lumber demand the south-wide 4th quarter average stumpage price for pine sawtimber was up 8% from this time last year according to Timber-Mart South. Mississippi stumpage prices as of the 4th quarter 2013 statewide averaged at $24 for pine sawtimber, $15 for pine chip-n-saw, $36 for mixed hardwood sawtimber, $9 for pine pulpwood, and $11 for hardwood pulpwood. Timber price reports for Mississippi are available at: Pulpwood markets in north Mississippi will obviously be disrupted by the closure of the IP paper mill in Courtland, Alabama. It is reasonable to assume that prices for pulpwood in some portions of north Mississippi will fall in 2014 as compared with 2013. So the outlook for Mississippi's timber markets are somewhat mixed. Sawtimber should show continued gains over the next several years and pulpwood in northern Mississippi may struggle as compared with previous years.

U.S. Housing Construction Forecast is describe in text.

Previous Market Commentaries

November 2013-Mississippi Timber Markets Holding

May 2013-Mississippi Timber Markets Holding Up

November 2012-Timber Market Update

April 2012-Timber Market Update

February 2012-Timber Market Update


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Tornado damaged pine trees.
Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest April 28, 2023

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Managers of forestland that was damaged or destroyed during the March 24 tornado outbreak in Mississippi now face questions about the short- and long-term future of their property.

Timber loss was recorded in six of the state’s counties after aerial surveys conducted by the Mississippi Forestry Commission estimated more than $13 million in losses on 23,155 acres, of which 9,281 acres were on nonindustrial private forestland. Storms also battered Enviva’s wood pellet production plant in Amory, suspending operations there.

Sunlight trickles through a stand of timber.
Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Forest Economics, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest December 19, 2022

RAYMOND, Miss. -- An increase in both the amount of timber harvested and delivered wood prices landed Mississippi’s forestry industry in third place among the state’s agricultural commodities. At an estimated production value of $1.3 billion, timber is up 15% from 2021. Poultry and soybeans ranked first and second, generating an estimated value of $3.8 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, in 2022.

A stack of logs.
Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Forest Economics, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest July 6, 2022

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi has gained new timber mills over the last 18months, and producers have seen timber prices rise since last year.

A front end loader.
Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest December 21, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Forestry is the third largest agricultural commodity in Mississippi for the second straight year with a production value of nearly $1.29 billion in 2021, up 5.7% over last year.

A large, yellow machine lifts downed trees to load onto a log truck.
Filed Under: Timber Prices, Timber Harvest June 29, 2021

Although construction costs are through the roof timber prices have not kept pace, and Mississippi forest landowners are waiting for improved markets. Shaun Tanger, a forestry economics specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the recent increase in construction costs is a demand-side phenomena.

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