North Carolina (NC) average standing timber prices decreased across all major pine and hardwood products in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022. Decline in prices was reflective of the impact on demand that was hindered by the economic conditions that negatively impact most forest product markets.
Based on TimberMart-South data, first quarter, 2023 NC state-wide average timber prices were down from 3% to 18% across all product classes compared to first quarter 2022. The largest decline in prices compared to a year ago occurred in the hardwood sawtimber and pulpwood product classes, with hardwood sawtimber prices dropping almost 18% and hardwood pulpwood prices declining just over 18%. State-wide average pine prices did fare slightly better than hardwood prices, with pine sawtimber prices down 3% compared to a year ago and pine chip n saw prices and pine pulpwood prices down 13% and 12% respectively from a year ago.
In comparison of the average standing timber prices across Eastern and Western NC from the previous quarter, Eastern NC average standing timber prices were up, 12% and 2% respectively, for both oak and pine sawtimber, but saw declines in mixed hardwood sawtimber, pine chip-n-saw, and hardwood and pine pulpwood. Prices declined ranged between 3% and 12%. In Western NC, hardwood average standing timber prices declined, compared to the previous quarter, across all product classes, dropping from 1% for pulpwood to as much as 14% for oak sawtimber. Pine sawtimber also saw a drop of 9% in prices compared to last quarter for western NC. The only product classes that fared well in western NC compared to the previous quarter, were pine pulpwood and pine chip-n-saw. These product classes saw a 5% and 13% increase in their prices, respectively.
For more information on the first quarter 2023 average standing timber prices in North Carolina, please visit the Forestry Price Data page. Remember, timber prices may vary greatly depending on many factors to include: location, species, products, access and distance to mill. Timber prices presented in price reports may not reflect the stumpage values for a particular stand of trees or with in a specific region of the state. It is recommended that you seek professional assistance in accessing the value of your standing timber.
Robert Bardon is Associate Dean of Extension, Department Extension Leader & Professor, Forestry & Environmental Resources, NC State Extension, NC State University