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The 1980 Softwood Timber Assessment Market Model: Structure, Projections, and Policy Simulations

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The paper presents a spatial model of North American softwood lumber, plywood, and stumpage markets designed to provide long-range projections of price, consumption, and production trends. Six geographic demand regions and nine supply regions (including Canada) are represented in the model. The product sector gives equilibrium projections for softwood lumber and plywood markets. Woodpulp, fuelwood, and miscellaneous products output are determined outside of the model, but timber demands generated by these products are considered. In the stumpage sector, aggregate demand for stumpage interacts with supply to determine equilibrium stumpage prices and harvests on a regional basis. Contributions to stumpage supply from, and behavioral differences among, National Forest, other public, industrial and nonindustrial private ownerships are recognized. The full model was evaluated in an historical simulation using data for 1966-76. Graphical analysis suggests that the model can replicate trends as well as major cyclical movements in both prices and volumes at the national and regional levels. A baseline projection for the period 1980 through 2030 was conducted under the assumption that management intensity on all private forest lands was fixed at current levels. Results indicate that rates of forest product and stumpage price growth will be higher than long-term historical rates between 1980 and 1990 but at or below historical rates between 1990 and 2030. Domestic production capacity in lumber and plywood will continue to decline in the far western regions and expand in the South during the next two decades then stabilize and begin a gradual reversal after 2000. Canadian exports of lumber to the United States are projected to expand and contract in the future in a similar fashion. A simulation of increasing management intensity on private forests has little impact on baseline results prior to 2000 but leads to significant reductions in prices and increases in domestic output between 2000 and 2030. Policy simulations are also presented to examine the impacts of alternative levels of National Forest timber harvest, elimination of log exports, a tariff on Canadian lumber imports to the United States, and increases in Canadian lumber production costs.

Keywords: Stumpage price movements; price movements; supply-demand relationships

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Economist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Portland, OR 97208

Publication date: 1980-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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