Pine Sawtimber Markets Continued to Improve in North Carolina
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In the first quarter of 2022, housing markets continued to climb upward in the United States. In March 2022, US housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.79 million units, which was about 4% up from the March 2021 rate. The lumber markets across the board also continued to hold strong over $1000 per thousand board feet in March 2021.
In the first quarter of 2022, except for pine pulpwood, markets for all stumpage products maintained an upward trend in North Carolina. Steady demand and lingering supply chain issues coupled with fluctuating gas prices were the main reasons behind the rising timber prices all across the South. According to TimberMart-South, state-wide average pine sawtimber prices in North Carolina were about $30.5/ton in this quarter, up 2.0% from last quarter and up 22% from the price a year ago. It was over 9% above the south-wide average pine sawtimber prices. The pine sawtimber prices in eastern North Carolina remained strong at about $34.5/ton in this quarter, which was up 30% from the 1st quarter of 2021. Similarly, statewide average pine chip-n-saw prices were $23.5 per ton, up 17% from last quarter.
In this quarter, pine pulpwood prices dropped significantly in North Carolina. The state-wide average pine pulpwood price was at $10/ton, which was down 7% from last quarter and down 13% from 2021 Q1. The eastern North Carolina had even a larger decline in pine pulpwood prices to an average of about $11/ton, which was down 21% from the price level a year ago.
The statewide mixed hardwood sawtimber prices averaged at $32.5/ton in this quarter, up 13.5% from last quarter but up 27.5% from the price a year ago. It was still about 4% less than the south-wide average of hardwood sawtimber prices. Similarly, hardwood pulpwood prices trended upward to the state-wide average of $8.2 per ton, up 2% from the last quarter, and up 4.5% from the price a year ago. For more information on the 2022 first quarter stumpage prices in North Carolina, please visit this page.