Pulpwood Stumpage Trends: In the second quarter of 2023, statewide pine pulpwood stumpage prices averaged $8.89/ton, while the average hardwood rates were $8.54/ton in South Carolina. It is a dramatic decline in pulpwood prices from the first quarter of 2022 when pine and hardwood pulpwood stumpages were above $14/ton. The average prices for pine and hardwood in 2022 (average of all four quarters) were $12.80/ton and $13.30/ton, respectively. Prices have been on a downward trend for this year (see figure below). Pine pulpwood prices have seen a sharp decline as compared with hardwood pulpwood prices in this quarter, exactly opposite of what we saw in the last quarter when hardwood prices had a decline of 19% with a 2% slide in pine pulpwood prices.
Sawtimber Stumpage Trends: Unlike pulpwood prices, sawtimber prices for both pine and hardwood were in upward trajectory in this quarter which is a reversal from the trends seen in the last quarter. The statewide pine sawtimber prices were $24.38/ton, while mixed hardwood trees sold at $23.77/ton in the second quarter of 2023. Compared with prices in the last quarter, it is an increase of over 8% for both pine and hardwood trees (see figure below). The average sawtimber prices for both pine and hardwood in the year 2022 (average of all four quarters) were $24.30/ton and $23.60/ton, respectively. In contrast to the decreasing trends in stumpage prices seen in the last few quarters, average sawtimber prices in this quarter were higher than last year’s rates (average of all four quarters of 2022). Sawtimber prices for both pine and hardwood have increased over 8% in this quarter, exactly opposite of what we saw in the last quarter when both prices had a sharp decline in South Carolina.
Data credit: The sawtimber and pulpwood price data included in this newsletter are published with permission from TimberMart-South Athens, GA 30605 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAUTION: WOOD MARKET IS LOCAL. Stumpage prices for both sawtimber and pulpwood in your local markets could vary significantly as compared to the above statewide averages depending on: size and species composition, quality of timber, total acres and volume, logging operability, distance from nearby mills, and overall market condition. Managed timber stands with large, straight, and quality trees with clear logs (logs without knots or branches) that could be used for lumber, veneer, or export products generally get higher price. This means, properly managed trees in good health and good quality would likely get more stumpage price than unmanaged trees.
Know Mills in Your Local Area in South Carolina
This website (https://primary.forestproductslocator.org/) provides a directory of mills (primary forest product companies) that use logs to produce various wood products. It allows you to visualize it on a map or check a list of mills in your county. For example –
Step 1: Select ‘Mill Map’ in the top menu bar to get to the search options
Step 2: Select filter by location if you want to know mills in your area. Select State (“South Carolina”)
Step 3: Select County (“Pickens” or your other choice)
Step 4: Select Wood Type (“Softwood” or “Hardwood”)
Step 5: Mill Type (“Sawtimber” or product of your interest). Multiple choices available here.
Now, it should generate a Google map of your interest. The website is a little slow & some choices (particularly the map option) take time to respond. It might test your patience. It would be a useful resource to understand the wood market in your area.
Puskar Khanal, Cooperative Extension, Forestry and Wildlife Specialist
This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas.
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