Timber Prices Flat In 2016; Washington Changes Create Challenges/Opportunities

Timber markets didn’t have a great year in 2016. A lackluster home building sector, dry weather conditions, and increased Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. combined to hold timber prices in place.

“Housing starts stayed relatively flat and so did our (timber) stumpage prices,” wrote Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, Inc., in the winter edition of his company’s quarterly newsletter.

However, Thomas said the change in weather patterns towards the end of the year will hopefully give a boost to timber prices in the coming months.

Anticipated changes in Washington could also have a big impact on timber markets and the forest industry.

“Changes in taxes and trade positions could have dramatic impacts and we just don’t know which way that will go right now,” Thomas said.

“This election upset may lead to some economic changes that benefit us—let’s hope for the best as the new president sets up his administration and begins to set policy,” said Thomas. “It is a good time to get more involved with your Congressmen and Senators to make sure they are on their toes in terms of our specific forestry issues.”


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