Plum Creek Timber has lowered its earnings expectations for the first quarter and the rest of the year based on current timber and rural land markets.

The company, the largest private landowner in the US with 8 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions, said it expected sawlog demand to remain weak in many markets.

“In our day-to-day operational decisions, we focus on serving our best markets, emphasising pulpwood harvests and moderating our sawlog sales, which allows a portion of our most valuable timber to continue to grow,” said president and chief executive officer Rick Holley.

The company, which also has 10 wood product manufacturing facilities in the north-west, said residential construction activity was as low as the early 1980s.