Winter Timber Sale

Assessing Timber Sales Amidst Unusual Weather Conditions

Take a look at the latest findings from our Q1 data collection!

Mild winter weather was not a good thing for timber sales in the Lake States in areas that experienced temperatures that were less often below freezing for extended periods. Harvest volumes were low in Wisconsin and Forest Data Network index prices often reflected lower demand throughout the Lake States (with some exceptions).

As the quarter ended sales activity was rebounding and some foresters were reporting stronger price trends. Some mills that had stopped accepting wood for several intermittent periods during the first quarter began restocking their inventories in late March.

In the first quarter, there was less activity reported in Wisconsin in particular as winter logging was not possible in many wet areas that did not freeze hard, limiting access for loggers and equipment.

Michigan showed a contrast with volume increases over a soft first quarter in 2023, but the higher volumes didn’t bring higher prices in most species.

Minnesota price trends were more robust with low single-digit average price increases for aspen, oak, and pine. These increases were all driven by volume increases that were particularly strong for aspen and pine during the first quarter.

Aspen prices were soft except for some increases that were prevalent in Michigan’s Huron Forest and Red River Valley regions.

Maple subspecies showed soft pricing throughout the Lake States with the exception of the Huron Valley and Southern Michigan regions, which showed some strength.

In areas of soft demand throughout Wisconsin, FDN has been receiving a number of auction and sale notices as the second quarter of 2024 begins, hopefully presaging an increase in activity.

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