FDN reports robust Q3 sawlog pricing in Lake States

Maple, oak, and pine were particularly strong

MADISON, Wis. – Landowners throughout the Lake States recorded robust prices on sales of sawlogs during the third quarter according to index prices compiled by Forest Data Network. Prices were particularly strong in core hardwood species of maple and oak.

Pine prices also gained market value throughout the three states in Q3.

The value placed on cordwood increased vigorously in all three states, particularly Michigan and Wisconsin where pine prices surged for pine cordwood by over 40% in Wisconsin. Key hardwood species of cordwood like maple, oak, and mixed hardwoods also shot up across the Lake States. This included increases of over 25% for maple, oak, and pine pulpwood in Michigan.

Much of the big boost in some prices was due to mills that use pulpwood to rebuild depleted inventories, according to mill managers.

FDN offers regional index prices for 28 regions throughout the Lake States here.

Sugar maple sawlog prices were very solid, particularly in Wisconsin where this Northwoods mainstay surged 27%. But red or soft maple did even better across Northern regions of the state.

Michigan maple prices were also strong, but less so. They grew by 13% for all maple prices, including hard maple also going up by double digits across the state. (Maple sales are a lesser factor in Minnesota.)

Minnesota price gains for sawlogs were most substantial in pine, particularly red pine where FDN index prices grew by more than 50%. Oak prices also grew, and while the percentage growth was only 3%, these index prices reached a five-year high driven by red oak sales.

FDN readers always express high interest in black walnut sawlog sales. In the third quarter, we only recorded sales in Minnesota. Pricing was down by 6%, but black walnut has not varied much over the last 5 years — up or down by 6% or less from an average that has held steady. Pricing in all five years is above $2,000/MBF.

Pine sawlog prices grew nicely in all three states, where the strongest growth was recorded by FDN for Wisconsin with sawlog prices up by 31% and pine cordwood up even more.

Pricing report subscriptions for many more species and the forested regions of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are available here. Price trends are clear with at least five years of data available in all three states.

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