Missouri Timber Price Trends
October - December, 2010
TimberMart South reports that moderate weather and a mediocre timber market combined to make a unimpressive 3rd Quarter of 2010. Prices declined slightly compared to the previous quarter for four of five major timber products. All five were up from weaker prices a year ago. The south-wide average mixed hardwood sawtimber price increased slightly this quarter, bucking the overall timber price trend. Prices were supported by industrial timber demand and exports. Hardwood pulpwood prices continued to slide this quarter, with a double-digit percent decline in 7 out of 11 states. The south-wide average had hit a record high of more than $12 per ton in the 1st Quarter.
The US Census Bureau provides one explanation of the continuing doldrums in wood markets. Total US privately-owned housing starts continued to disappoint those hoping for a rebound. Through August, US starts were 412 thousand units year-to-date, about 8 percent above the same period in 2009 according to the US Census. However, new residential sales in August were at a seasonally adjusted rate nearly 30 percent below August 2009. Inventories of houses for sale and the estimated number of months to sell a new or existing home have not improved.
Foreclosures continue to be in the news, representing a large percentage of houses sold. US new construction remains severely constrained by both slack demand and difficult financing.
Source: TimberMart South, US Census Bureau
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