Home Archives April 2008 Demand for sawdust rises as the board market drops

Demand for sawdust rises as the board market drops

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, April 01, 2008


STATEWIDE Prices have gone so haywire in the timber industry that Oregon loggers are selling perfectly good Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir logs to be ground into chips for pulp instead of processed into lumber.

“Usually we sell the lowest, cheapest product we’ve got for pulp,” says Randy Hereford, timber manager for Starker Forests in Corvallis.  “Now the board market is so weak that pulp is our best option.”

The precipitous drop in demand for home-building supplies has hit Oregon’s lumber producers hard. Western Oregon log prices fell by 19% between the fourth quarters of 2006 and 2007 and have slid 143% since their peak in 1993 when adjusted for inflation.  The latest casualty was the Weyerhaeuser plant in Junction City, which closed in March.

Meanwhile, the drop in lumber production has decreased the supply of wood chips and sawdust, and prices for those unglamorous commodities have shot up. According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of sawdust has quadrupled in the past two years, from $25 to $100 a ton. That’s bad news for businesses that buy large volumes of wood waste, such as farmers, horse trainers and nurseries. One would think it would be good news for producers of wood residuals, but Bill Putney, of Recycling and Processing Services in Salem, says he loses those gains to higher production and transportation costs from rising fuel prices.

“The money looks nice as it moves from your right hand to your left hand and then out the door,” says Putney, “but it’s just more money circulating. You’re handling more dollars, but you’re not making any more money.”                         


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Downtime with Ron Green

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.


How to help your staff solve their own problems

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 21, 2014
03.21.14 thumb coxcoffeeTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.


Green your workplace

Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Speeding up science

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Eking out a living

Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02