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Data Does Not Speak for Itself: Simple Frameworks and Ranking Timber Markets

While raw data is important, it can also be insufficient. Each day, the world produces a staggering amount of information, which does not speak for itself. How do we think through the noise to find helpful signals and apply our expertise? Data, regardless the volume, must first be understood for what it is, how it was chosen, collected and managed. Then, to make decisions, we go through the exercise of segregating “the signal from the noise”, to echo a theme from Nate Silver’s book on forecasting and predictions.

In our forestry research at Forisk, we often use simple screens and repeatable frameworks to evaluate potential disruptions and rank markets for investment. In the timberland and forest products sectors, how you think can be as important as what you think. For example, timberland investors often have reasons beyond traditional economic fundamentals to add forests to their portfolios, including recreation and a range of ESG concepts.

Currently, our team is completing a comprehensive update of regional timber markets. Forisk’s 2022 Market Rankings Study divides the U.S. South and Pacific Northwest into operable timber markets based on bottom-up analysis of softwood demand centers and wood flows. The research scores timber markets based on supply and demand and key risks to timberland investors and wood consumers. Each market receives three scores, each from a different perspective: timberland investors, sawtimber consumers, and pulpwood consumers.

This Study provides verified data and objective analysis to support strategic and operational plans for wood-using mills or timberlands in the United States. The Study supports those interested in:

  • Ranking regions or markets for investment due diligence or capital expansions.
  • Profiling timber supply and upcoming changes in your operating areas or timber markets.
  • Understanding forest industry concentration and raw material competition in local markets.
  • Comparing weather and fire risk across timber markets.

Please email Heather Clark (hsclark@forisk.com) for more information on this study.

Interested in learning a process for tracking and analyzing the price, demand, supply and competitive dynamics of local timber markets and wood baskets? Register here for Forisk’s 2022 “Timber Market Analysis” class, offered virtually via Live Zoom on November 16th and 17th. Early registration ends November 2nd


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