Retail Wood Prices: Where are they at?
I am too far removed from retail wood prices to know what the price is, but here in Maine I know the price of logs has fallen out of the sky. If there is a bottom to log and pulpwood prices, we have not reached it yet. Every week the price keeps going down another $5-10$ per cord and its down about $30 bucks a cord already, which is about ¼ of its price (25% reduction).
I sent a load out awhile ago and the papermill scaled way back on it. Normally a 11 cord load (5000 bf) of softwood goes for $770 bucks or so, but this time that same load went for $440 bucks a load. Adding insult to fiscal injury, they called it "mixed softwood" when it was pure hackmatack. The truck driver told him it was pure hackmatack since that commands a higher price, but the papermills are in such a slump that they don't care if they get wood or not. All in all, I was lucky to get rid of the load even if it was at a cut-rate price.
Now that I have all kinds of time to log, I'm staying right out of the woods. Its not worth working hard and giving away my wood as I am doing fine financially at this point. Others near me are not so lucky. The loggers are paying high prices to the landowners because they signed contracts on the woodlots when the prices were high and that was the agreed upon price. Now though they are getting low prices for the wood they are cutting, meaning they are logging for nothing really.
Normally log trucks make a steady parade past my house on the way to the mills, but now they are parked and maybe 5-6 pass the house each day. The log yards and papermills just are not buying. This is bad here because typically when lay-offs happen, the people here go into the woods "to make a little money." That means more people cutting wood with very few papermills and log yards buying wood, so the price drops even more.
If it sounds bad, it is...but the real question I have is if the retail cost of lumber is following this tumbling wood market? There is some delay between wood on BORG shelves and current prices of course, but in the very near future hardwood lumber and building materials should be VERY low. Is anyone seeing this yet?
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"