Report: Things are looking up for East Texas timber industry - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Report: Things are looking up for East Texas timber industry

A large pile of timber is piled up behind Norbord in Nacogdoches ready to be turned into oriented strand board. (Source: KTRE Staff) A large pile of timber is piled up behind Norbord in Nacogdoches ready to be turned into oriented strand board. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Ed Dougal, Wood Utilization & Marketing Specialist for Texas Forest Service agrees with a Texas A&M Forest Service study showing steady timber prices and an improved outlook for tree growers in East Texas. (Source: KTRE Staff) Ed Dougal, Wood Utilization & Marketing Specialist for Texas Forest Service agrees with a Texas A&M Forest Service study showing steady timber prices and an improved outlook for tree growers in East Texas. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Several new mills have opened providing a market for East Texas timber. They include OSB plants, wood pellet plant, and a biomass facility. (Source: KTRE Staff) Several new mills have opened providing a market for East Texas timber. They include OSB plants, wood pellet plant, and a biomass facility. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Stumpage prices of all five timber products increased from 2013 to 2014, according to Texas Timber Price Trend data. A continued trend is expected in 2015.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Stumpage prices of all five timber products increased from 2013 to 2014, according to Texas Timber Price Trend data. A continued trend is expected in 2015. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

A current Texas Timber Market Report has good reviews and a good outlook for the East Texas timber industry.

Texas A&M Texas Forest Service analysts just released their findings. East Texas News got the breakdown and what it means for tree growers in East Texas and to the overall economy.

A giant pile of timber at the Norbord oriented-strand board facility in Nacogdoches grows by the minute. It's just one of several markets buying up timber products to meet the demand.

"Housing has been fairly strong in Texas and as you know with more housing starts, the more demand there is on building products and that helps our wood industry,” said Ed Dougal, a wood utilization and marketing specialist for the Texas Forest Service.

New mills across East Texas provide additional markets. Last year, a wood pellet plant and a biomass plant facility opened in Woodville. Another OSB plant is opening in Corrigan, and Norbord has reopened its Marion County plant.

"And then the pulp mills have been fairly strong. The IP mill up in Texarkana and then across the border there are a few mills,” Dougal said. “One in Oklahoma and Arkansas, a few in Louisiana that take log from Texas."

Prices for pine pulpwood timber rose 26 percent according to Texas Timber Price Trend data. Hardwood prices are up too primarily due to wet weather.

"It can become a bit of a problem in terms of supply, and sometimes that does lead to some stiffening of price as well,” Dougal said.

As hardwood sites become more accessible, prices may be drop a bit. Over the long term, timber prices are expected to improve as long as the housing market climbs.

The timber industry is also watching oil and gas trends. Timber growers provide hardwood saw logs for roadbeds and heavy equipment. That market has tapered off as drilling has decreased.

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