Pulpwood Prices in North Carolina Surged Back in the 2020 Second Quarter

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The housing markets in May rebounded slightly to just below one million units of housing starts nationwide. The U.S. overall economy also improved as indicated by the better than expected job market reports in May and June, and continuously rising stock markets. While the lumber prices, driven by strong demand and the curtailment in sawmill operations, improved substantially in the last two months, South-wide average timber prices in this quarter trended downward amid the looming COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pulpwood price trend

In the second quarter of 2020, movements in timber prices in North Carolina were mixed. According to TimberMart-South, while state-wide average pine sawtimber prices dropped slightly due primarily to the limited logging and sawmill operations, both pine and hardwood pulpwood prices surged substantially compared to the previous quarter. Pine pulpwood prices were averaged at $9.1 per ton, up about 22% from the first quarter of 2020. Similarly, hardwood pulpwood prices were also up approximately 168% to $6.5/ton. The dramatically higher demand for tissue products amidst the Pandemic could be the main reason behind these sharp rises in pulpwood prices. For more information on the 2020 second quarter stumpage prices in North Carolina, please visit: Forestry Price Data