Hardwood is Hot
Many of the pulp and paper manufacturers across the southeast suffered extremely low inventories of hardwood pulpwood beginning in the early fall of 2017. The wet weather this winter has prevented them from gaining inventory and driven stumpage prices up, at least for the near term. Chip producers and concentration yards have joined the party to fill this market need. We have seen stumpage prices more than double in the last several weeks in our operating area.
Meanwhile, hardwood sawtimber, and hardwood tie logs continue to hover around all time highs for the area. Grade white oak is especially strong, so tracts with a high percentage of white oak, versus red oak and poplar, are commanding premium pricing. We have contracted with several landowners to do hardwood thinnings from below to take advantage of the seasonal increase in hardwood pulpwood prices. A limited volume of hardwood ties and sawlogs will also be removed from these tracts. When we're done, the biggest and the best hardwood trees will be left to mature and naturally regenerate the ground underneath.