Forest market outlook in the Southern United States

Document Type


Publication Date



The forest products market in the U.S. South is poised to undergo significant changes in the coming decades as a result of an evolution of social, economic, and environmental factors. To better understand these changes, this paper utilizes a forest sector partial equilibrium model to examine the market and trade impacts of the U.S. forest sector under various Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and alternative projections of climate from 2020 to 2070. Our results indicate that U.S. production and consumption of forest products will grow in most scenarios. The U.S. South is projected to remain the leading timber-producing region of the nation. Our results also highlight the complex dynamics within the forest sector in response to trade restrictions and changing market demands. One of six scenarios reported shows how higher trade barriers significantly affect southern U.S. hardwood markets, causing a reduction in net exports to outside the region and slowing hardwood price growth. On the other hand, such barriers simultaneously create more favorable conditions for domestic softwood producers, especially in the U.S. South, to supply the U.S. construction sector. A scenario focused on mass timber demonstrates that rising demand for softwood lumber used in mass timber products could lead to considerably higher production and prices, compared to a benchmark scenario.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Forest Policy and Economics

This document is currently not available here.