Shaun Tanger, Guidry, Kurt M.
The projected Louisiana gross farm value of harvested forest products decreased by 10.96 percent during the 2016 calendar year, ending the year at $898.125 million in mill-delivered revenue. The pine saw-timber harvest decreased by 14.8 percent from the prior year and posted a total statewide harvest of approximately 798.63 million board feet during 2016. The hardwood saw-timber harvest decreased as well during 2016, a 13.94 percent decrease to 98.8 million board feet. Pine Chip-N-Saw harvested during 2016 totaled 841,458 cords, a decrease of approximately 6.80 percent from 2015 levels. The pulpwood harvest was 5.87 million cords, down 238,777.46 cords (4 percent) from the 2015 harvest. Pine pulpwood harvest increased 1.09 percent, from 5.07 million cords during 2015 to 5.12 million cords in 2016. Hardwood pulpwood harvest decreased by 28.33 percent, from 1.04 million cords in 2015 to 744,462 cords in 2016.
Stumpage prices paid for pine saw-timber during 2016 averaged $214.50 per thousand board feet. This average represents approximately a 6.64 percent decrease from the previous year ($229.75 per thousand board feet). Prices paid for mixed hardwood saw-timber during 2016 averaged $299.75 per thousand, which is a 2.13 percent increase from the previous year ($293.50 per thousand). Pine Chip-N-Saw averaged $46.42 per thousand in 2016, which was down $1.55 from the previous year. In general, delivered prices were down across all three sawtimber class products over the period reported (ranging from 0.5 to 1.9 percent). Pulpwood stumpage prices averaged $27.45 per cord per for pine, up 1.59 percent from the previous year, while hardwood pulpwood averaged $34.66 per cord, down 17.13 percent from the previous year’s average. As a caution, individual landowners should not look at Timber Mart South Prices as an indication of what they will get for timber sold on their land, but rather as a gauge to judge price trends and directions. Timber owners should contact a consulting forester who can help them best gauge the market for their timber, because the prices received for individual tracts vary considerably, depending on local conditions and specifics of their individual property.
During the year, Louisiana’s private forest landowners received an estimated $404.94 million from the sale of forest timber (stumpage), down 12.98 percent from the $465.33 million in the previous year. Timber harvesting contractors and their employees earned approximately $493.19 million from harvesting the trees and moving wood to mills during 2016, a decrease of 7.16 percent, from $531.17 million in 2015.
As for predictions, it’s more of the same from the prior several years. Since it is unlikely that Louisiana will experience the rainfall events as those that hit in 2016, slow, but upward growth in harvesting across all products is expected. However, prices for stumpage products in 2017 will likely be mostly flat, perhaps down slightly. Softwood lumber prices will rise along with pulp prices for the year, so the expectation is that mill profitability will rise, since supply of raw material is abundant. Demand will inch upward for final goods in lumber, plywood and OSB (oriented strand board) products, but landowners and loggers are not likely to see these gains due to increased market power of the mills remaining in the state and continued slack in production capacity.
Those predictions, of course, are contingent on the expected increases in housing starts and a decrease in the percentage of starts that are multifamily dwellings. Overall, projections are 1.236 million housing starts for 2017. https://www.nahb.org/en/research/housing-economics... (Click on the first blue link under forecasts). For further predictions and outlook for 2017, please see the forthcoming Timber Market Price Reports document that is available online at the LSU AgCenter website on the “Stumpage Speak” blog http://www.lsuagcenter.com/portals/blogs/stumpagespeak, or contact your area forester for a copy. Also, for more details on Timber Harvesting, along with landowner income and delivered income to harvesting operators, please see the forthcoming LSU AgCenter Agricultural Summary 2016 athttp://apps.lsuagcenter.com/agsummary/.
See PDF for table