Market Report 4th Quarter 2020

Our assessment of market conditions is derived from published market reports, as well as sales conducted by Tennessee Timber Consultants. Overall, hardwood sawtimber markets saw slight improvements during the latter half of the 3rd Quarter. Our hardwood sales are generating considerable buyer interest with offers at or above expectations. We are currently recommending the sale of domestic and export quality white oak, soft hardwoods, and crosstie-quality sawtimber. While we are keeping a close eye on red oak markets, we are recommending the delay of grade red oak at this time.

Hardwood Export Timber

Export markets have fluctuated over the last two years due to trade tensions with China and has been exacerbated from coronavirus-related issues throughout the supply chain. However, white oak veneer and exports generally remain in high demand and are bringing strong prices. Walnut and poplar demand and prices are also favorable, while red oak continues to be stuck in the doldrums in the ocean of exports.
 
Domestic Hardwood Sawtimber

Hardwood sawtimber demand is characterized as moderate, which can be attributed to market improvements over the last few months and low inventories, as well as there being a low supply on the market. White oak aside, domestic sawtimber markets have generally struggled this year due to coronavirus-related interruptions and shutdowns.

Nevertheless, grade white oak continues to be the strength of domestic markets due to limited supply on the market and competition between exporters, sawmills, and staves. Since its peak in May 2018, red oak demand and prices have been on a downward trend. However, demand for red oak has begun to see slight improvements as of late and will hopefully continue to improve in the coming months.

Low-quality sawtimber is also drawing considerable interest; primarily, due to favorable railroad crosstie markets. Yellow-poplar demand and prices have begun to improve for all grades.

Tracts containing white oak continue garnering substantial interest. We are also recommending the sale of soft hardwoods and tie quality sawtimber. 

Pine Sawtimber

The southern yellow pine sawlog market has struggled for more than a decade. With the explosion in the construction lumber markets since March, many landowners expected an increase in the pine sawlog markets. This has yet to come to fruition due many variables, but landowners shouldn’t expect any considerable increase in log prices anytime soon.
 
Hardwood and Pine Pulpwood

Pulpwood is currently in low demand across the board and virtually all producers are on limited delivery quotas. Typically, these prices fluctuate on a month-to-month basis depending on weather and availability, but will likely remain low for the foreseeable future.