Hardwood and Softwood Timber Prices Across the U.S.

See our insights on the timber price trends throughout the U.S....

While timber prices are strongly tied to a particular region, it is sometimes tempting to glance sideways to the East and West and compare our pricing challenges with others in the forest products world.

For hardwood markets, we can look to the East where the species mix is similar.

In Pennsylvania, strong pricing for red oak in 2021 and 2022 seems to have pulled back last year and remained at a weaker level in the first quarter of 2024 (based on pricing gathered by Penn State University Extension).

However, white oak sawlog pricing is somewhat stronger. Prices reported for white oak surged there in 2022, but decreased to more normal (but still attractive) prices in the first quarter of 2024 — particularly in the state's Southeastern quadrant.

Meanwhile, average hard maple (sugar maple) stumpage prices dipped slightly in three of Pennsylvania’s four regions in the first quarter of 2024. Penn State reported no data from survey respondents for the southeastern region of Pennsylvania for the first quarter. Average soft maple (red maple) stumpage prices followed a similar trend.

To the West, the focus should be on timber for framing (construction lumber) and Douglas Fir In the Pacific Northwest. The tie of log markets is particularly tight with the Pacific Northwest lumber price index. That relationship diverged in 2021 and 2022 when national inflation and supply chain issues drove a huge divergence between log and lumber prices. That spread has come back closer in line during last year.

Portland-based Mason, Bruce & Girard, in their quarterly newsletter, reported a decrease of 6.7% in log prices for Douglas Fir (the dominant species in that region) from a year prior. Lumber prices that had soared in 2021 and 2022 have receded to more normal pricing last year where they remained during the first quarter of 2024.

You can track hardwood and pine long-term price trends in your region with Forest Data Network’s Index Price reports for the three lake states. Get more information here.

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