PNW Challenges for 2016: Tightening Margins Require Crisp Reactions, Laser Focus

Posted by Greg Frohn

During the latter part of 2015, we wrote extensively about the regional challenges that were unique to the PNW timber industry and log markets. From the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement and its impact on import/export markets, to the high number of mill sales/closures, to the protracted effects of an intense and costly fire season, the PNW has experienced a period of drastic change. But the beat goes on.

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Topics: Pacific Northwest Log Markets, PNW Fire Season

Northeast Pulpwood Market Creates Challenges, Uncertainty for Region

Posted by Eric Kingsley

In the thirteen-month period from November 2014 through December 2015, Maine lost markets for about 2 million green tons of pulpwood and mill chips. In a state where the total pulpwood use was 8.1 million green tons in 2014, that’s a big deal. With mill closures in Bucksport, Old Town and a capacity reduction at Verso’s Androscoggin mill in Jay, the state and the Northeast region have suffered real market losses. It was only a matter of time before these losses would affect fiber pricing, and it appears that time has finally come.

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Topics: pulpwood prices, northeast pulpwood

Despite a December Dip, Housing Starts Finish 2015 on Forecast

Posted by John Greene

While the housing starts metric stayed on course during December to finish 2015 just above its 1.1 million unit forecast, the final monthly number was surprising and disappointing to economists and industry watchers alike. The lackluster performance followed double-digit gains in November, unseasonably warm weather throughout most of the country for much of December, as well as 45,000 additional construction jobs—all of which was expected to boost activity.

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Topics: housing market update

Tree Harvesting and its Effect on Soil Nutrients

Posted by Jay Engle

We are currently experiencing a global resurgence in wood production, and as biomass derived from forest residues continues to become more popular as an alternative and renewable source of energy, questions regarding forest sustainability and land management inevitably become the focus of many discussions. And rightfully so. While a forest is so much more than its available timber, an important—and often overlooked—aspect of responsible forest stewardship concerns maintaining overall land quality.

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Topics: timber harvests, soil nutrients

Forest Industry Performance: December 2015

Posted by Joe Clark

Forest industry performance in November and December was reported by both the US government and the Institute for Supply Management.

Total industrial production (IP) tumbled 0.6% in November (-1.2% YoY). It was the ninth month in 2015 with MoM IP declines, as well as the biggest MoM drop since March 2012. Historically, YoY declines in IP have often been associated with recessions.

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Topics: forest industry performance

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