Lumber future vs cord wood price?

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zmender

Member
Dec 27, 2021
130
CT
I'm wondering if y'all had seeing correlations between lumber price and cord wood price before? Just read an article on business insider where lumber futures down to 9-month low due to demand drop in new housing as combination of interest rate, inflation, and housing price.


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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,205
Northern NH
I doubt there is a lot. Most hardwood forestry operations treat firewood as a waste product that they can make a few bucks on if they haul it out of the woods. Its really the cost to haul it out and process it into firewood is what sets the cost. My guess is the cost of firewood is far more influenced by the cost of fossil fuel used for heating.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,375
Philadelphia
I doubt there is lot. Most hardwood forestry operations treat firewood as a waste product that they can make a few bucks on if they haul it out of the woods. Its really the cost to haul it out and process it into firewood is what sets the cost. My guess is the cost of firewood is far more influenced by the cost of fossil fuel used for heating.
... and the same fuel trends affecting cost of hauling and processing. Agreed with your premise, though. Lumber pricing is set by housing demand vs. supply, firewood price set by fossil fuel costs.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
I've been keeping an eye on lumber prices since I got a mill in summer 2020. The log prices haven't changed much since 2019, so I'm surprised cord wood has been up anywhere. I do expect fuel wood to be more expensive with higher FF pricing, people like to make money when they can. Not only will the cost to process the firewood go up, but the higher prices of heating fuels will drive more firewood sales, and the price, up.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,263
Palmyra, WI
The fuel to run the splitter here is about 1/2 gallon / cord. Diesel to move it around - 2gallons gets me about 3hrs of tractor time. To haul it 10mi would be a gallon or more. I'm not quite seeing the correlation of fuel to process and cordwood pricing. But I do see a lot of wood burning people that get pretty serious about it when other fuel prices are up. A lot of people around here are capable of burning. When heating costs sored in 2007, it was surprising how much wood suddenly appeared - on front porches, driveways, in horse trailers backed up to their back doors. But they weren't burning 2x4s, or mill slabs
 

monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
346
Dallas
People living in urban area don't care. We have enough urban wood to split, followed by woody yard waste, demolition lumber, unrepairable furniture, followed by unrecyclable paper waste.
We are proud to take stuff out of landfill.

Cost is always the #1 concern. Cut, cut, cut the cost please we cannot afford.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
The environment is an absolute mess because people put economic cost above all other priorities. This is the reason LA is covered in smog.
 

monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
346
Dallas
The environment is an absolute mess because people put economic cost above all other priorities. This is the reason LA is covered in smog.
Los Angeles or Louisiana? Regardless, the average "LA" resident generate much less pollution than the average Maine resident, but Los Angeles is so expensive, we cannot afford! Cut, cut, slash the cost!
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
Los Angeles or Louisiana? Regardless, the average "LA" resident generate much less pollution than the average Maine resident, but Los Angeles is so expensive, we cannot afford! Cut, cut, slash the cost!
I am talking about Los Angeles, and I'm not sure I agree with the "less pollution" thing. You have to take into account that most of CA is a desert with no water. All that water has to come from somewhere. There is a bigger picture to all of this.
 

monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
346
Dallas
I am talking about Los Angeles, and I'm not sure I agree with the "less pollution" thing. You have to take into account that most of CA is a desert with no water. All that water has to come from somewhere. There is a bigger picture to all of this.
The water comes from Colorado river by a series of dams and canals. There is not much overall desertification because of Los Angeles. It's just shifting desert from one place to another.
 

ericm979

Burning Hunk
Nov 2, 2018
105
California
The environment is an absolute mess because people put economic cost above all other priorities. This is the reason LA is covered in smog.

The reason for smog in LA is A) there's 19 million people in the greater LA area, and B) it's a basin surrounded by mountains on three sides and the prevailing wind comes from the fourth side. The smog gets trapped in there.

And no, California is not mostly desert. The southern 1/3 of California is. There's a lot of trees and mountains in the rest of the state. Even SoCal has a lot of trees and mountains.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
The reason for smog in LA is A) there's 19 million people in the greater LA area, and B) it's a basin surrounded by mountains on three sides and the prevailing wind comes from the fourth side. The smog gets trapped in there.

And no, California is not mostly desert. The southern 1/3 of California is. There's a lot of trees and mountains in the rest of the state. Even SoCal has a lot of trees and mountains.
Trees don't mean it's not a high desert. The lack of precipitation is what classifies it as a desert. There would be no smog in LA if people placed environmental health as a top priority rather than economic cost. I love how everyone is acting like industrial processes and concentrating people is not the reason for smog.
 

ericm979

Burning Hunk
Nov 2, 2018
105
California

desert​


[ dez-ert ]


See synonyms for: desert / deserted / deserting / deserts on Thesaurus.com



noun
a region so arid because of little rainfall that it supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all: The Sahara is a vast sandy desert.
any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil.
an area of the ocean in which it is believed no marine life exists.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
Thanks for validating what I said. I'm also an environmental science major and last week we covered desert biomes, among other things.
 

monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
346
Dallas
Trees don't mean it's not a high desert. The lack of precipitation is what classifies it as a desert. There would be no smog in LA if people placed environmental health as a top priority rather than economic cost. I love how everyone is acting like industrial processes and concentrating people is not the reason for smog.
LA uses the wrong way of concentrating people. People have to drive car to anywhere, car exhaust becomes smog.
Singapore is the right way of concentrating people -- build tall, and connect densely built areas with transit.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,463
central pa
LA uses the wrong way of concentrating people. People have to drive car to anywhere, car exhaust becomes smog.
Singapore is the right way of concentrating people -- build tall, and connect densely built areas with transit.
Agreed but you can't deny that many of our ongoing environmental issues are due to the attitude that saving money is the most important thing. Or maximizing profits which is basically the same thing.
 

monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
346
Dallas
Agreed but you can't deny that many of our ongoing environmental issues are due to the attitude that saving money is the most important thing. Or maximizing profits which is basically the same thing.
Yes I agree it causes environmental problems, but cash is a hard constraint for the poor, so the poor WILL use the cheapest despite whatever pollution.
And it's legitimate, considering businesses owned by the rich pollute much more than the poor combined.
To fix the environment, we have to fix inequality.

before inequality is fixed, what technicians and engineers can do, is to make the cheapest way not pollute so much.
a good example: rocket mass heater instead of fireplace.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,463
central pa
Yes I agree it causes environmental problems, but cash is a hard constraint for the poor, so the poor WILL use the cheapest despite whatever pollution.
And it's legitimate, considering businesses owned by the rich pollute much more than the poor combined.
To fix the environment, we have to fix inequality.

before inequality is fixed, what technicians and engineers can do, is to make the cheapest way not pollute so much.
a good example: rocket mass heater instead of fireplace.
Well rocket mass heaters are the current fad. There absolutely is value in them but many of the claims made are completely absurd.

And really there are very very few people actually trying to heat with open fireplaces.


Btw none of us said it was mainly the poor who pollute the most because of economics. That absolutely isn't true
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
Indeed, poor people are responsible for a tiny fraction of carbon emissions. Especially when you do a life cycle analysis of most products.
 
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bunfoolio

Member
Mar 13, 2015
119
merrimac, ma
Agreed but you can't deny that many of our ongoing environmental issues are due to the attitude that saving money is the most important thing. Or maximizing profits which is basically the same thing.
Maximizing profit is also the maximization of effiency. Not sure what you are getting at here. The only way to negate humanaties impact on the enviroment is to end humanity. Is that what you want?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,463
central pa
Maximizing profit is also the maximization of effiency. Not sure what you are getting at here. The only way to negate humanaties impact on the enviroment is to end humanity. Is that what you want?
No maximizing profits and maximizing efficiency are very different things. They can absolutely be closely related or completely opposite.

I am not talking about negating human impact on the environment. But we can certainly reduce it allot. Ignoring the environment will end humanity sooner or later.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,480
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Back to firewood costs. One needs to also consider the cost (and rising costs) of labor in any given area. If labor rates go up, logically so does the cost of firewood as it is labor intensive to harvest, cut, and split the wood. If you're a small business paying employees you probably need to pay them more now. If your a single person operation you likely need to charge more to justify continuing the business vs getting a job employed by others.

Looking online right now I can get a cord of spruce, pine or poplar (no we don't have hardwoods here) for $300. If I paid myself $15/hr I would be about that price after paying for fuel, and wear and tear on my truck and saw.
 
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monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
346
Dallas
Back to firewood costs. One needs to also consider the cost (and rising costs) of labor in any given area. If labor rates go up, logically so does the cost of firewood as it is labor intensive to harvest, cut, and split the wood. If you're a small business paying employees you probably need to pay them more now. If your a single person operation you likely need to charge more to justify continuing the business vs getting a job employed by others.

Looking online right now I can get a cord of spruce, pine or poplar (no we don't have hardwoods here) for $300. If I paid myself $15/hr I would be about that price after paying for fuel, and wear and tear on my truck and saw.
Labor is quite replaceable by capital for the proper scale of operation.

Two essential equipment for producing wood chips from bush/shrub, bush cutter and wood chipper trailer, are priced $10K-$150K each for different sizes (0.5-2 times of an employee's annual wages) Chips are better than cord wood because it dries faster and can be pumped/augered like pellets.

Like @bholler said, firewood is usually a byproduct of forestry and sawmills, rather than dedicated production, but I cannot see what stops dedicated harvesting of bush/shrub if prices are high enough. Right now, the west coast have shubby hills that burst into wildfire every year that they cannot afford harvesting