Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Global Timber Prices Rising?

Wood Resources International is reporting that global wood prices are up everywhere but in the US South and West. The reporting is in U.S. dollars and they acknowledge in their promotional piece that some of this is due to the declining dollar but they don't say how much. I suspect that the dollar is in fact the primary driver and that real increases are pretty minimal. You can read the promotional piece here or subscribe to their service and get the full details. I used to subscribe when I was charged with monitoring global fiber supplies but the service is quite expensive and (in my opinion) hard to justify unless you have a very specific need in the global marketplace. If so, go to their website. I have also used some of their studies/reports in the past which I found very useful on various wood supply studies.

A few months ago I did a post on a very good paper by Tom Harris and others that included a comparison of delivered pine pulpwood in Brazil and the U S South. There is a chart that shows very dramatically the impact of the changing U S dollar. Look at the chart if you missed it. Its important.

While I'm on Harris and bunch, the Timber Mart-South also publishes a stumpage pricing service and very informative newsletter. You can subscribe to the service on their web site. General pricing data and older newsletters are available at no charge but you do have to pay for the current stuff. I have subscribed to this in the past too and found it very useful when I was actively involved in timber sales. It is reasonably priced.

Probably the most extensive and most heavily used pricing service today is Forest2Market. It is a relative newcomer that is providing very localized data on stumpage and delivered costs. They are extensively used by both landowners and the forest industry. Visit their website for a list of products and services.

There are also some free services out there provided by state forestry organizations and local universities. Google them if you are an infrequent user. If I have missed any of the key pricing services or if you would like to comment on any of them, please add a comment. --Brian

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Forestland Group to Buy 100,000 acres in Wisconsin

TFG reportedly has purchased (or will purchase?) 100,000 acres of timberland from Plum Creek in Wisconsin.

"the timber on the lands sold to TFG includes a variety of species and age classes. Besides the 16,300 acres in Sawyer County, the sale includes 12,000 acres in Rusk County, 69,700 acres in Oneida County, and lesser acreages in Price, Forest and Langlade counties."

"When asked by the Record what Plum Creek’s objective is in selling these lands, Wilson said that Plum Creek “regularly evaluates its holdings to determine the best economic use for every acre, and this was a market opportunity for the company."

"As the largest private owner of hardwood timberlands in the United States, TFG currently manages approximately 2.1 million acres in 17 states in the eastern U.S."

Read the entire article in the Sawyer County Record. --Brian

Timberland Investing: Latin America Summit

If you would like to head way south this winter, there is a timberland investment program scheduled for March 3-5 in Sao Paulo, Brazil (that is late summer in Brazil!).

According to the promotional literature:
"Discussions will focus on:
• Local investments opportunities in South America
• Biological, political and financial risk of investing in Brazil
• The importance of creating a diversified global timber portfolio
• Investments in carbon credits as additional revenue"

Actually, it looks like a pretty good conference for anyone with a timberland investment in Latin America or for anyone considering an investment. You can check out the speakers and all topics on the conference web site. If you have never been to Sao Paulo, it will be a memorable experience! Brazil is a wonderful place with some equally wonderful people. --Brian

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Molpus Acquires 195,000 Acres

"The Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC (MWG), a timberland investment management organization, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi has announced the successful purchase of 195,000 acres of timberland. The acreage is located in five states as follows: New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. This acquisition increases the company's total acreage under management to 665,675. "

" These purchases mark the first acquisitions outside the southern United States for MWG. This acreage will be managed as a long-term timber investment on behalf of an institutional investor."

Read entire article.