2023 Alabama Timber Market Update | News

2023 Alabama Timber Market Update | News

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The begin of a brand new 12 months brings new financial territory for Alabama’s forest trade. Forestland house owners are looking for insights on what to anticipate relating to their timber in 2023. An Alabama Cooperative Extension System forestry specialist shares an replace for the timber market this 12 months.

The forest trade contributes roughly $28 billion to Alabama’s whole financial output. More than 44,141 jobs assist obtain this output, rating Alabama within the prime three nationally in timber manufacturing.

Adam Maggard, an Alabama Extension forestry specialist, mentioned Alabama remains to be coping with an oversupply of timber. In phrases of softwood timber–principally pine–this provide has negatively impacted an growing demand for a lot of of its merchandise. It has additionally led to uncertainty amongst landowners about when they need to see enchancment. Maggard believes there isn’t any one-size-fits-all advice, however there are some vital cues to check.

“We are making headway with using our oversupply of timber,” Maggard mentioned. “But like most good issues, it’ll take a while to attain extra steadiness.”

The primary part of the timber market that almost all forest landowners are probably questioning about is stumpage value. Stumpage costs—a  tree’s value on the stump prior to reap—luctuate relying on what Maggard calls large-scale and local-scale components. Below is a breakdown of what these components embrace.

Large scale contains components on the state, regional, nationwide and even world degree:

  • Economy
  • Housing market
  • Demand for merchandise regionally, nationally and globally
  • Supply of timber
  • Seasonality

Local scale contains components at an area, extra centered degree:

  • Competition – mill-to-mill competitors or the variety of mills competing for sure space of timber provide
  • Distance to the mill from tree harvest websites
  • Demand for timber by the mills
  • Seasonality – moist versus dry climate, dry timber tracts versus moist timber tracts
  • Tract dimension – timber acreage and quantity
  • Tree species, dimension and high quality

Maggard mentioned there are a number of extra gadgets that forestland house owners ought to maintain a watchful eye on. By learning these elements of the market, it is going to present extra perception for landowners on the present path of the market. These embrace:

Housing Market

The need to personal a house stays robust in 2023. However, growing mortgage rates of interest and residential costs have weakened shopping for energy and slowed market demand. Inflation and provide chain constraints will nonetheless be felt in 2023, however Maggard is hopeful will probably be comparatively short-lived.

“Our present market standing isn’t anticipated to final a number of years,” Maggard mentioned. “This is partially as a result of the need to personal a house remains to be excessive, and in addition as a result of dwelling availability is decrease than we’ve seen in related occasions previously. It will largely depend upon mortgage charges and affordability.”


COVID-19 impacted mill capability charges and lumber costs. As a outcome, mills needed to play catch-up with Alabama’s timber oversupply.

Economically, there was a lower in demand for writing and printing paper. Maggard mentioned a method that the trade is making up for that lower is container board and paper packaging manufacturing. This correlates primarily with the rise in demand for transport containers from industries akin to the net purchasing market. Globally, paperboard and packaging is greater than a $1 trillion trade.

Alabama has additionally seen the launch of 4 new wooden pellet mills. Most of those mills will deliver extra timber market alternatives to forestland house owners in proximity. However, a few of the pellet mills are planning to function off residual materials from neighboring or close by sawmills. Currently, there’s not a home wooden pellet market, and pellets produced in Alabama are exported.

Policy and Trade

Another impactful piece of the nationwide timber market is world coverage and commerce. Alabama produces billions of {dollars} in its timber trade, together with forest product exports. In 2021, Alabama exported greater than $1.5 billion in forest merchandise. Many of those merchandise are exported to different nations, with China being the most important importer. Trade coverage, world uncertainties, struggle and financial situations of nations with a excessive demand for the United States’ forest product exports all have impacts domestically.

Overall, Maggard mentioned Alabama’s timber trade is powerful. Although the housing market is more likely to be unstable by means of a lot of 2023, the demand trajectory has been on the rise for timber merchandise. This is anticipated to proceed in the long term with new and increasing markets.

Learn extra in regards to the timber trade and how timber is sold, go to Alabama Extension’s web site, www.aces.edu.