SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The latest report published by the Wood Resources International (WRI) foresees reduced timber surplus over the next ten years.
The U.S. South region plays a crucial role, determining the future of global supply of several forest products. The region accounted for approximately 12% of the world’s total conifer timber harvest. The region has built huge inventory of softwood timber over the past fifteen years.
In early 2000’s, the timber harvests almost balanced net growth. However, the great recession during 2007-2009 led to increased softwood timber inventory, mainly on account of reduced lumber output, faded sawlog demand and significant fall in log removals. Over the past ten years, the rise in log consumption has resulted in narrowing down the discrepancy between the timber harvests and growth, thus limiting additional log surplus.
The supply has become tighter in micro-markets such as Atlantic States, which include South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The Gulf States seem to have healthy surpluses. Over the next decade, at least some states in the U.S. South will see timber removals overtaking growth rates, WRI said.
Meantime, the pulpwood prices are likely to remain at current levels or are likely to witness marginal decline.