Are Pine Plantations in the US South Profitable Investments?

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Are pine plantations in the US South as financially attractive now as they were in previous decades? This seems like a fairly logical question for forestland owners when one considers long-term regional stumpage price trends. As shown in the chart below, sawtimber price (in nominal terms) has declined since the early 2000s while pulpwood has basically remained level over the same time period. In fact, nominal stumpage prices for all three product categories—pine pulpwood, pine sawtimber and pine chip-n-saw—have been relatively flat since 2008.

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