There was a time, not long ago, when the largest threat to forests in the United States was widely believed to come from the forest products industry. Vilified by environmental groups and the media alike, the forest products industry was at worst responsible for razing forests and endangering vulnerable species.
Forest2Market collects and reports timber prices for micromarkets. With the exception of pine pulpwood in the East, hardwood pulpwood in the East and Mid regions, and hardwood sawtimber in the West, timber prices have dropped throughout the South in the first half of 2013.
Lake States 2Q2013 Wood Fiber Price and Inventory Trends
Hardwood and softwood total fiber (chip equivalent) prices displayed steep increases between the close of Q1 and the start of Q2. The effects of spring breakup - increased woodyard transfers and hauling from piledown areas - contributed to a $4.05 per ton increase in average hardwood prices between March and April .
In June and July of 2013, the Forestweb N.A. Pulp Index approached it's 5-year trend line for the first time since November 2011. Since hitting a 2012 low in September, the index has shown improvement, gaining 16 percent through July 2013 (nearly at the same level of February 2012).
Manufacturing, as measured by the Institute for Supply Management's PMI, expanded in June after falling into contraction during May. The index rose from 49.0% to 50.9%, nearly one percentage point above the 50.0% breakeven line.
Bureau of Land Management Ordered to Sell More Timber, But Will It Actually Have to?
Southwestern Oregon's timber industry received a boost recently, but the ultimate outcome remains to be seen. On June 26, district court judge Richard J. Leon ruled the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to meet timber harvest targets outlined in the Medford and Roseburg districts' resource management plans since 2004 and ordered the BLM to increase its timber sales in those areas.