VERY bleak report on timber prices - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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VERY bleak report on timber prices

Here is a copy/paste of log prices from Illinois timber prices It is a resource I use to help me price raw material (logs) when guys bring them around to sell...the bottom has dropped out.

"Report Date: 3/30/2009 [Prices reported as Stumpage, Doyle Scale]
Black Walnut [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Veneer Logs: $1.50-3.00 bf
  • Grade Logs: $0.50 bf
Black Cherry [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Grade Logs: $0.20 bf
White Oak [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Veneer Logs: $1.00-2.20 bf
  • Grade Logs: $0.25 bf
Red Oak [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Grade Logs: $0.15 bf
Black Oak [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.10 bf
Pin Oak [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.08 bf
Hard Maple [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Grade Logs: $0.15 bf
Soft Maple [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.08 bf
Hickory spp. [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.15 bf
Ash [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.08 bf
Yellow-Poplar [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.10 bf
Elm/Hackberry [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.05 bf
Sycamore/Sweetgum/Cottonwood [Demand Weak|Flat]
  • Sawlogs: $0.05 bf
Additional Comments: Overall, this one of the worst hardwood markets I've seen in 29 years. Some mills are still buying crosstie logs, but many grade/veneer mills have dropped prices so low that selling high-quality timber might not be a good idea this year. We will try to stay in the the low-grade timber at least during the first part of the year. Even the timber mat market for 18-24' rough logs has severely eroded. As related to stumpage and mill-delivered log values, housing starts and new construction will have to rebound in order for the hardwood market to pull itself out of this downward trend."

As a sawmill owner/lumber dealer...this is a reflection of the other end too...what lumber will be selling for in the near future (from logs I paid last years prices for )
Today the prices like:
Cherry sawlogs for $.20 bft
Walnut for $.50
Red oak for $.15
...they were 2-3X that last year, not good...not good at all.
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post #2 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 02:34 PM
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I haven't looked at my reports in a while. I am thanking God for Flame Boxelder. It hasn't slowed much if at all. Look at that list - a nickel for sycamore. That ain't spalted and quartered.

What a fella has to do is that very thing ~ spalt his stuff or find standing dead and take the good spalted wood out and leave the rot in the woods. Get as much unusual high-market stuff collected as possible burl/crotch/buggy and shoot for the daddy warbucks market like I am in. Those guys don't flinch when they want wood.

That report sucks rotten eggs.
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post #3 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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We will try to stay in the the low-grade timber at least during the first part of the year
And this makes me glad I am not buying from loggers...he just said the "good stuff" is going to stay on the stump until prices come back up and they are only harvesting low grade. Which mean nothing but junk on the hardwood logging trucks .
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post #4 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 03:06 PM
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Talking Possibly of interest?

I just purchased 2000 lin ft of 8" wide western red cedar siding, channel rustic, (opposing rabbets on the edges,) at $1.69 per lin ft. I could have had hardwood! bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-11-2009 at 05:53 PM. Reason: MISPLACED OR LOST DECIMALPOINT
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post #5 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I just purchased 2000 lin ft of 8" wide western red cedar siding, channel rustic, (opposing rabbets on the edges,) at $169 per lin ft. I could have had hardwood! bill
Was that really "at $169 per lin ft." or per 1,000 linear feet?

G
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post #6 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 05:31 PM
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Daren now is the time to buy them though. Have your loggers and tree guys started doing other things? Find some who took jobs but who want to moonlight, and get some cheap logs while the gettin is good maybe.
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post #7 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 05:52 PM
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Daren now is the time to buy them though. Have your loggers and tree guys started doing other things? Find some who took jobs but who want to moonlight, and get some cheap logs while the gettin is good maybe.
Aint that the truth. If you have access to good timber, and storage for lumber, now is a great time to grab as much as you can. Sit on it. The plus side of a bad report like that is, it cant get much worse.

Father in law saw that I was cutting lumber with a chainsaw in the garage the other day. He offered 20 acres of timber that hasnt had anyone on it in 20 or so years. So I think I just found next winters project. Now I just have to convince the wife that I can really use my own mill instead of taking it to someone to cut. That being said, we have a few amish sawmills in the area, and those folks usually cut dirt cheap.
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post #8 of 37 Old 04-11-2009, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Daren now is the time to buy them though. Have your loggers and tree guys started doing other things?
Yea...firewood. It is always a decent business here. At "sawlog" prices oak/cherry/ash/hickory/maple is worth less delivered to me whole log than by the cord delivered (including their cheap labor to process it) for firewood. So there you have it, nice sawlogs being bucked and split for firewood.
Picking grade logs that will fetch the most takes a little skill...any dim light bulb can split firewood. So now it all will be split to simplify things on their end.
And this complicates things with landowners looking to get rid of trees..."WHAT ? I was offered twice that last year. What are you trying to do, rip me off !!" Because they don't understand the market fluctuation and most likely were offered 2X the current price last year.
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post #9 of 37 Old 04-12-2009, 08:24 PM
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Looks to be bleak all across the country. Mills shutting down everywhere. I have never seen it this bad this long in the lumber market, at least not in my 35 years in it.
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post #10 of 37 Old 04-13-2009, 09:54 AM
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I don't know about you guys, but a few week ago I bought some 8/4 walnut at 3 bux b/f and he was doing me a favor. On top of it all it was still green.
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post #11 of 37 Old 04-13-2009, 10:57 AM
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There are guys posting hardwood for sale on craigslist around here that still have last years prices. I doubt they are selling much at all, since they keep reposting the same ads every week.
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post #12 of 37 Old 04-13-2009, 11:42 AM
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How much do you guys ask for your lumber, say your normal hard wood like maple, walnut, cherry?
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post #13 of 37 Old 04-13-2009, 07:03 PM
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Here's a couple of ads from my area.........
Rick

CHERRY LUMBER, KILN DRIED FULL 1 INCH GOOD WIDTH'S AND LENGTH'S $2.00 SQ. FT

western red cedar lumber kiln dried 1x6. $1.00 per. ft

BLACK WALNUT WOOD LUMBER KILN DRIED, GOOD WIDTH'S AND LENGTH'S, $2.00 SQ. FT

RED OAK & HARD MAPLE LUMBER KILN DRYED GOOD WIDTHS & LENGTHS 4/4 THICK $1.50 SQ. FT

White Oak for Sale can cut to any size, lots of 16 lengths and up to 10"to 12" widths $2.25 a board foot.
Red Pine for Sale can cut to any size, lots of 10 to 12 lengths and up to 6"-8" widths $1.25 a board foot.
White Pine for Sale 1" thick , lots of 16" lengths and up to 12" widths $1.75 a board foot.
Soft maple for sale 1" thick, random widths 4" to 14" random lengths 4' to 8' $2.00 a board foot.
Popular for sale random thickness , and widths 8' to 12' lengths $1.25 a board foot.
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post #14 of 37 Old 04-13-2009, 08:29 PM
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Thanks Webster Those are some nice prices
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post #15 of 37 Old 04-14-2009, 08:23 AM
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You will probably not see prices drop much on quality lumber because the raw material cost ,logs, is a very small part of total cost as in milling, planing ,drying,etc. I know all of my costs keep climbing, electricity, fuel, parts, insurance, taxes, and trucking to name a few. I also just focus on smaller amounts of lumber that has been air dryed for what my customers seem to prefer over kiln drying, seems to be much more stable. I also try to focus on lumber that can not be purchased at box stores, Wide Pine, Birdseye Maple, Clear Pine, and thicker stock. I could drop prices some to compensate for the log price, but then I would have to raise them to compensate for the other factors.
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post #16 of 37 Old 04-14-2009, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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You are right Bill log prices are not the defining factor for lumber prices, just a small part of the big picture.
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post #17 of 37 Old 04-14-2009, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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On the other hand though with the declining profit margins all the way from the stump to finished product I am seeing too many guys fold and dump their lumber on the market at wholesale or below prices. I have seen lumber advertised lately for what I have paid for it in the log by the bft in the past. (well close, too close)
It's just a rough time all the way around, not just for people in the timber industry, any business I can think of off the top of my head is feeling it. One thing about lumber...it ain't gonna evaporate like some of my stock market investments.
So like was said, buy them cheap-mill lumber and hope it is "money in the bank".
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post #18 of 37 Old 04-14-2009, 01:49 PM
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How about the guy that buys the Walnut cheaper, is he going to sell that handmade desk that much cheaper? I think it all comes down to quality and service, the little guy will never compete based on production, we are in a seperate leaque based more on one on one personalities and other factors, while the big boys just track the buy and sell. They are welcome to it and all that goes with it. I've always said that if we all supported each other locally the country would be in better shape. The craftsman down the road may pay me a good price for local good quality lumber which would give me the money to pay him a good price for his hand made desk or to buy my food from the farmer down the road for a good price. And so the ball would roll. Cheaper is not the best thing and could be one reason we are in the boat we are in. We all want to buy as cheap as we can and then get upset when people think our product is too high. Just my 2 cents.
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post #19 of 37 Old 04-15-2009, 10:16 PM
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hi im new here been looking around reading posts kinda feelin the site out , i work for a saw mill aka pallet factory , and that said i see walnut logs cut ..kiln dried and sent off as pallets , not all walnut but most are.. my company pays $50 a ton for 14 foot to 17 foot logs straight as arrow 6" dia to 16" anything bigger we resell to bigger saw mills..... what i cant understand is why isnt it a bigger market for walnut........ i see alot of great wood either made into pallets of chips..........dont get me wrong i get paid good money but why waste it....
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post #20 of 37 Old 04-15-2009, 10:48 PM
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i would love to get some nice walnut, but here in MA it very expensive. I would expect $8.00 bf for FAS if not more
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