Winter Timber Sale

Wisconsin stumpage prices drop in 2018, FDN reports show

Wisconsin stumpage prices in many regions of the state saw a marked decline in late 2018 from the year before, according to the latest 2019 pricing report from Forest Data Network.

Freshly-cut and stacked Wisconsin logs.

MADISON -- Wisconsin stumpage prices in many regions of the state saw a marked decline in late 2018 from the year before, according to the latest 2019 pricing report from Forest Data Network.

Industry experts attributed the decrease to the impact from tariffs and a drop in home construction among the reasons landowners were seeing a drag on the prices they were getting for their standing timber. The industry-wide impact was also being felt downstream as lumber prices also fell from all-time highs in earlier in 2018 to prices more in-line with lumber prices earlier in the decade, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

National lumber prices dropped significantly in 2018, with prices hitting as high as $639 per 1,000 board feet in May and then swooning to $307 in October. Lumber prices are related to harvest activity and stumpage prices as prices rise when supply is low, some of which was brought on by tariffs on Canadian softwood in 2017 and also wildfires and infestations affecting the wood supply from Canada. Meanwhile, the trade dispute with China reduced the amount of wood being exported into the Chinese market, a major export target.

In Wisconsin, several of the most heavily-harvested regions of the state reported almost-across the board declines in stumpage and pulpwood prices for many species in late 2018. For instance, in the Northwest region of the state, which is heavily forested and sees significant harvesting activity, FDN’s report found all major species dropped in price in 2018. Mixed hardwood dropped by more than 4%, while other species and sub-species saw even steeper drops.

The pricing drop was even more noticeable in the North Lakes region, which includes Rhinelander and several north-central counties, where prices dropped across pulp and log prices. FDN reports on updated pricing information based on compilation and analysis of hundreds of private and public transactions and are available statewide and also for 13 regions. The company’s pricing reports can help timber owners make harvesting decisions with their lands and assist others in the Wisconsin forestry industry. The pricing information can also be seen in relation to the past 10 years of pricing to understand how trends could affect timber harvest decisions going forward.

To buy a more detailed report for your region or for the whole state, please go to www.forestdatanetwork.com.

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