Economic uncertainty impacting timber prices

Economic uncertainty impacting timber prices

  • Aug 7, 2023

North Carolina timber markets continue to be impacted by uncertainty in the economy by late July.

Compared to a year ago, second quarter 2023 standing timber prices were down across all product classes except pine sawtimber.

The most significant decline in timber prices from a year ago occurred with pulpwood, with pine and hardwood pulpwood prices declining 27% and 36% respectively.

Pine sawtimber prices increased a modest 2%, while oak and mixed hardwood sawtimber prices declined by 16% and 9% respectively.

Worsening market conditions in pulp and paper brought about several mill closures across United States, including the Pactive Evergreen paper mill in Canton.

Even though North Carolina standing timber prices are generally down from a year ago, state-wide average standing timber prices are up for pine and hardwood sawtimber from the first to the second quarters in 2023.

Based on TimberMart-South data, second quarter 2023 NC state-wide average timber prices for pine and hardwood sawtimber were up from 2% to 8% compared to first quarter 2023. The largest increase in prices occurred in mixed hardwood sawtimber at 8% from the previous quarter. Both pine and oak sawtimber saw modest increases of 2% from the previous quarter.

The TimberMart-South data indicated pulpwood prices continued to see significant declines in the second quarter of 2023 prices compared to the first quarter, with pine and hardwood prices dropping 14% and 33% respectively.

Second quarter 2023 average standing timber prices were down from the first quarter 2023 prices for all product classes but mixed hardwood sawtimber, which increased by 11%. In Eastern N.C, pine and oak sawtimber prices decreased by 4% and pine pulpwood and hardwood pulpwood prices decreased by 19% and 41% respectively.

Standing timber prices in western N.C. fared better then wastern N.C., with prices increasing by 9% for pine and oak sawtimber and 5% for mixed hardwoods sawtimber.

Even though pulpwood prices in western N.C. are down (5% for pine pulpwood and 25% for hardwood pulpwood), the drop was not as significant as it was for eastern NC.

For more information on the second quarter 2023 average standing timber prices in North Carolina, visit the Forestry Price Data page at

Timber prices may vary greatly depending on many factors to include location, species, products, access and distance to mill.

Timber prices presented in price reports may not reflect the stumpage values for a particular stand of trees or with in a specific region of the state.

Seek professional assistance in accessing the value of standing timber.