To salvage or not to salvage? Log & non-timber forest product prices & trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources, Lane County

Things got hot and heavy this summer with prices increasing to the $900/mbf range. While these prices aren’t record breaking, we set those in the summer of 2017, lumber prices were. Record breaking lumber prices along with a reduction in wood as a result of the coronavirus brought up those log process to numbers rarely seen in the summer. Usually a bad fire season also adds to a slight increase in price as we come out of the summer due to equipment shut downs, slowing wood to the mills. But, we didn’t have just a bad fire season, we had a bad fire year. As we recover from the Labor Day fires, many landowners will be looking to salvage their burned timber and this increase in wood to the mill will likely start to drive down prices.

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Catch a logger if you can: Log and non-timber forest product prices and trends

Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Lane County

We are officially out of the COVID slump. Usually prices are at their peak in April and then drop into July, but things are topsy-turvy again this year. Summer usually offers a plentiful log supply keeping prices the lowest during the year. With many of the mills slowing or even shutting down in the spring they just can get enough cutting done to meet the current demand and prices are up as a result.

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Leave it on the Stump: Log & non-timber forest product prices and trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources Agent, Lane County

Everyone said it would happen, that we were “due,” but we just didn’t know how or when. Well, it’s finally here. The arrival of the coronavirus has caused our economy to become recessed. While the country deems all aspects of forestry and the forest industry an essential service, it has not been protected from these uncertain times.

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We’ve got a good feeling: Logs & Non-timber Forest Products – Prices & Trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources, Lane County

It is winter and we are on the heels of spring which means we’ve got a good feeling about log prices. Wet weather means timber is less accessible and fewer logs make it out of the woods. As a result, prices tend to increase. This year is par for the course. Prices are up or holding steady across the board from last quarter.

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Everything, but predictable: Logs & Non-timber Forest Products – Prices & Trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, Lane County

Our log prices have never been predictable. However, one could argue that they could predict the best time of year or even month to sell their logs based on historical trends. This is because our log prices tend to have seasonal rises and falls with micro corrections based on circumstances such as weather, fire, foreign policy, and the lumber markets. When looking at a graph of the average prices of Douglas-fir logs over the last 25 years, you should be able to predict that the best time to sell should be the in the early spring, March and April, when prices have been the highest. The worst time to sell is the summer when the market is flooded and the prices are the lowest.

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The Snowstorm Strikes Again! Log & Non-Timber Forest Product Prices & Trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Lane County

Downed trees in Douglas County. Photo credit: Alicia Christiansen, OSU Extension

I’m sure you all remember the huge snowstorm we had in March. Of course you do! How could anyone forget being stuck in their home for days or even weeks without electricity? (Strike 1) The beautiful winter wonderland lasted a few weeks, but eventually melted to reveal a huge mess of fallen trees and broken tops (Strike 2). Now summer is here, and you are trying your best to clean up some of that mess. This might include trying to salvage some value from the fallen and damaged trees. So, you call the local log buyers and …STRIKE 3!!!

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Spring has sprung, but log prices haven’t: Logs and Non-timber Forest Products – Prices & Trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Lane County

Spring is here, but where are our log prices?  Time for everyone to start wondering what logs are going to do this year. Typically prices start to rise after the new year and peak in the Late March early April before starting their decent into the summer prices. A little over a year ago, the domestic Douglas-fir market went crazy and anyone who was prepared with a management or harvest plan was able to capitalize early and rode that ship into financial felicity. Continue reading

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Low Lumber, Pricey Polls: Logs and Non-timber Forest Products – Prices & Trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Lane County

None of the mills are too excited about purchasing a lot of logs with lumber prices staying low, but the good news is most of you are on dirt roads and can do a little more waiting to see if prices bounce back up a bit. Now don’t get me wrong, $650 is a great price for 8 inch plus Douglas-fir long logs. Especially if you are remembering back to the recession where prices dipped well below $500. But if you’re like me the sweet taste of the $900 + prices will take a while to dissipate. But, we will all have to reset our expectations because it is looking like those prices were more likely a fluke and less likely the new normal.   Continue reading

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It was good while it lasted.

By Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent – Lane County

Usually I get to say that I have good news and bad news for you, but today I only have the unpleasant. Our two years on the cloud 9 of Douglas-fir prices are culminating in a free-fall ride back to earth. The lumber market has finally readjusted and log buyers don’t need to pay a premium for logs anymore. In addition Inventories and log availability are high, so demand is low which means prices are low.

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What’s the buzz on poles?

By Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent – Lane County

For those of you who’ve been following the logs market for a while know that the last 2 years have been somewhat out of the ordinary. Log prices have mostly been on the rise since March 2016, but we all knew it couldn’t last forever. Summer is the time when most small landowners can access and sell their logs.  This increase in supply also means somewhat lower prices than what you see in the winter and spring.

Fire season has been kind to the Willamette valley and surrounding forestlands (knock on wood). No active fires have shut down production and fire weather has stayed below extreme, which means that harvesting operations can still occur early in the morning. Increased supply in the form of sellers and log access has kept mill inventory up and that pushes prices down. While prices have started their decent, these are still GREAT prices. Continue reading

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