Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on October 22, 1999. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Timber Harvest Holds Firm As Markets Lag
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi landowners have continued to harvest trees while some segments of the timber market lag behind others.
Dr. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said timber markets through the summer of 1999 indicate that timber is being harvested at about the same levels as last year, but prices have been generally lower. Pine sawtimber prices have been the bright spot this year. Those prices have held even with 1998's average, but other prices have dropped.
"Pine pulpwood prices through June were 18 percent lower than 1998's yearly average, and average hardwood pulpwood prices were 28 percent lower," Daniels said.
"Mixed hardwood sawtimber prices were 10 percent lower, and oak sawtimber prices averaged almost 5 percent lower for the first half of 1999, compared to 1998," he said. "These figures confirm what many landowners have realized this year; our sawlog markets have been fairly steady, but pulpwood markets have been very poor.
"Landowners with older stands that have a high percentage of sawtimber but a low percentage of pulpwood may want to consider selling the timber," Daniels said. "On the other hand, it's a bad time to market pulpwood stands."
The pine lumber market has been good in 1999, but slipped in July, partially due to the Fourth of July holiday and also the unusually hot weather that hampered construction. Despite that slip, the market improved again and in late August 2-by-4 prices ran about 15 percent higher than the same time last year. The pine lumber market outlook for next year is favorable. Demand is projected to be down slightly from the record highs of 1998.
Daniels said the hardwood lumber outlook is steady and pulpwood markets are expected to remain weak.