Pine Sawtimber Prices in North Carolina Rebounded to the Pre-COVID-19 Level

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Despite the impending COVID-19 global Pandemic, both housing and lumber markets trended upward in the fourth quarter of 2020. In December 2020, US housing starts were up about 6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.67 million units, the highest point since late 2006. The lumber markets also followed the upward trend. While the lumber prices dropped slightly in November 2020, the Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) lumber prices surged back in December 2020 and continue to move upward in recent weeks.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, while hardwood timber products were down slightly, all pine product stumpage prices were up in North Carolina. The largest increase was reported in pine sawtimber markets. According to TimberMart-South, the state-wide average pine sawtimber prices in 2020 Q4 were about $27.14, up 19% from last quarter. It was up about 13% above the south-wide average pine sawtimber prices.

Similarly, statewide average pine chip-n-saw prices were $16.4 per ton, up 4.5% from last quarter and up 3.4% from 2019 Q4. Pine pulpwood prices also bounced back to over $10/ton, which were up 5% from last quarter and up 3% from 2019 Q4. Eastern North Carolina had even higher pine pulpwood prices with an average of about $12.5/ton.

The statewide mixed hardwood sawtimber prices averaged at $24.6 per ton in this quarter, down slightly from last quarter and down 1% from 2019 Q4. It was about 18% less than the south-wide average of hardwood sawtimber prices. Similarly, hardwood pulpwood prices also trended downward to the state-wide average of $5.5 per ton, down 9% from the last quarter, and down 12% from the price a year ago. For more information on the 2020 fourth quarter stumpage prices in North Carolina, please visit Forestry Price Data.

Pine sawtimber and pulpwood prices in North Carolina chart image

Pine sawtimber and pulpwood prices in North Carolina (Source: TimberMart-South)