It’s time to embrace the rain: Log and non-timber forest product prices and trends

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

Things are starting to level out after seeing large fluctuations in the lumber market and inventories at the mill. Mills are buying now, but each mill’s needs are different. With the onset of the rains, fewer logs usually make it to the log yard. This could encourage more aggressive buying, so keep an open communication with buyers if you are looking to sell. Rain also means that dirt roads are off limits. So, if you plan to take advantage of winter prices make sure to look into rock for your roads. Rock can be a great investment if you harvest frequently and the road accesses a large portion of your property.  

Douglas-fir prices are currently sitting in the high $700 – low $800/mbf, lower than prices you saw last month as more wood comes on the scene, but still great prices. Chips haven’t been exciting in the recent past, by buyers in the valley are looking more aggressive these days. Right now chips are in the high $25-$35 per ton range.

The Hem-fir sorts (spruce, hemlock, grand and white fir) have come down a bit this quarter but if you search you might find some good prices. I’m seeing prices in the $450 – $500 per thousand range.

The alder market continues to be pretty good. They are sitting in the $500 – $700 per thousand range depending on size.

Redcedar prices are down a bit from last quarter with prices around $1300/mbf in the Eugene area and $900 in Roseburg area. Incense-cedar on the other hand is holding steady. If you are in the Eugene area you are looking at $550/mbf and $650/mbf in Douglas County area. Port-Orford-cedar prices vary quite a bit from $400 – $500/mbf depending on small end diameter.  

It isn’t Christmas yet, but in the non-timber forest products game that’s the buzz. It is all about trees and greenery right now. Most other products are on hold now but will likely start up again in December.  

Depending on the weather, we may see prices start to take a turn for the better. That being said, many small landowners don’t have rock on their roads, so it is difficult to take advantage of those higher prices. If your roads are dirt, take the time to evaluate your management plan and start thinking about next year. The more prepared you are the easier the process. If you do have rocked roads, call around to get the purchase orders that work the best for you and your wood. It might be sooner than later that prices look better than what I can offer in this report. Good luck and always remember to get your purchase order before you cut!

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