Housing Rebound Combined With Wet Weather Could Bode Well For Tree Growers In 2016

While the housing market continues to make a slow but steady comeback, it hasn’t had much of an impact yet on timber stumpage (standing tree) prices, the head of one of the nation’s largest forest management reports.

“We still haven’t reached the “magical” number of 1.3 million starts—the number forecasters say is necessary to put real upward pressure on stumpage markets,” wrote Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, Inc., in the winter edition of his company’s newsletter.

But wet winter weather could give timber prices a much needed boost.

“Supply is certainly an issue in both the pulpwood and sawtimber markets. Our apparent oversupply of sawtimber-sized trees could be offset over the next few months by wet weather, resulting in a short term opportunity to sell sawtimber trees at a higher price,” Thomas said. “And what many believe is a “growing” shortage of pulpwood-sized trees could really be compounded by wet weather, driving already high (in some locations) pulpwood prices higher—and probably resulting in even more small sawtimber trees being cut for pulpwood.”

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