Demand for sawdust rises as the board market drops

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

sawdust.jpg

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.”                         

BEN JACKLET


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

 

More Articles

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS