It’s a downward trend: Log Prices and Trends

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

This time of year is usually when prices are moving upward into the springtime, but this year isn’t following suit. This is likely a result of a few things including not much excitement coming out of the lumber market, the ice storm, and two small log mills closing in the area.

Looking at the graph below, Douglas-fir prices seem to hold steady only wavering within a $100/mbf range. This quarter is no different. Douglas-fir with 5-7 inch diameter on the small end is in the $725-750 range, 8 inches is $800, and 12″ is a bit more in the $825 range of things.

The chip market has really been suffering these days, but there seems to be some local demand in the Eugene/Springfield area. At the time of this report, the prices are staying the same from last quarter and are around $30 per ton.

Pole yards are seeing a lot of action, but they aren’t full yet. That means they are in demand. Prices have decreased from last quarter, but are still strong compared to some other products. Short logs are around $950/mbf and long logs are $1050- 1100 /mbf.

Unfortunately, I still don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t tell you when prices will come up again, but I can share some log buyer wisdom. Thoughts are that with the new harvesting restrictions, modernization of some mills, and residual fire effects demand will start to rise again over the next couple years and hopefully it will bring prices up with it. Until then, dust off your management plan and make the necessary updates. If you decide its time to sell logs, always get the purchase order before you cut. Enjoy the sunny weather!

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