Stick Trade Blog

Lumber Prices for Hardwoods and Sof...

Posted August 10th, 2011

Future lumber prices for Jan 2012 were down 4% today (CME 8/10/11) and listed at $245.90. In looking the lumber news from 2010 & many experts were predicting 2012 to be the breakout year for lumber supply and demand. So what will 2012 bring? The data now appears to say that 2012 will not be a breakout year for hardwood lumber or softwood lumber demand. So what do the Ti Leaves say? The biggest leaf on the tree is housing starts and these are still and will will probably remain low for 2012. The annualized figure for June 2011 is 624,000 and 2012 we be maybe slightly higher. So what is a healthy housing start number for the lumber industry? Well, from 1995 through 2005 the average figure was about 1.66 million annual housing starts and to get back to semi-normal this figure should be a above 1 million. While hardwood lumber including red oak and white oak, maple, hickory and cherry are more resistant to fluctuations in housing starts than softwood lumber, new housing still stimulates demand for hardwoods via cabinets, flooring and other millwork products. The factors limiting housing starts continue to hinder the economy. These include a high unemployment, high foreclosures and low consumer confidence. According to RealtyTrac foreclosures were 222,747 for June 2011 and this number is still high. Unemployment is another thorn in the side of the housing market. Generally, it is good to have a job to buy a house and, even if a person has a job, the consumer needs the confidence that that job will last. Yesterday (8/9), a very wise man on economic matters, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, announced he would keep interest rates at the lowest possible level until mid-2013. In plain English the guy is saying he expects things to be bad for awhile. The decline in housing starts has led to a decline in lumber production. U.S. lumber production has declined from 51 billion board feet in 2005 to 29 billion board feet in 2010. The 2011 figure may should be similar to 2010. So where is the sunshine in this storm? As we have said before, it is in global markets. The value of lumber exports through May 2011 are up 30 percent over the same period of 2010. The leading export markets in order are China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Italy, and Vietnam. Mills and dealers that are exporting are thriving from a weak US Dollar, which makes U.S. lumber cheaper abroad. The sawmill and forest products industry is now in a totally different dimension than it was 10 years ago. Exporting should no longer be considered a choice, but an essential business strategy. If a mill or lumber related company does not want to export directly that is fine. But find a company to partner up with that has expertise in global markets. A good place to start is by joining the Softwood Export Council or the American Hardwood Export Council. These entities can help sawmills and lumber traders started with exporting. Remember, above every cloud is a sunny day.

<< Back to Stick Trade

RSS Lumber News from Around the Web

  • Over 2000 Homes Threatened in California Fire - ABC News September 18, 2014
    ABC NewsOver 2000 Homes Threatened in California FireABC News"We have had significant losses of public timber land, private timberland and watershed." Most of the threatened homes were in Pollock Pines, 60 miles east of Sacramento. Hundreds of them are under evacuation orders, but it wasn't immediately clear ...
  • Timber Creek (3) at Camden Catholic (0) - Girls Soccer - The Star-Ledger September 18, 2014
    Timber Creek (3) at Camden Catholic (0) - Girls SoccerThe Star-LedgerSarina Jones scored twice and Rachel Mfon and Jenna Tolen combined on the shutout in net to send Timber Creek to a 3-0 victory over Camden Catholic in Cherry Hill. Staci Bell, Hayley DeFeo, Lexi Karakitsios and Jenna Mariotti collected assists for ...
  • Field trip for possible timber sale - Casper Star-Tribune Online September 17, 2014
    Field trip for possible timber saleCasper Star-Tribune OnlineThe Bighorn National Forest is taking the public on a field trip into the Billy Creek project to provide information about a proposed timber sale in the southeastern corner of the forest. Forest Service specialists will describe the proposed activities ...and more »
  • Milan man accused of illegally buying timber - Quad City Times September 17, 2014
    Quad-Cities OnlineMilan man accused of illegally buying timberQuad City TimesA Milan man has been charged with two felonies after he illegally purchased timber in Illinois, according to a release issued Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Benjamin R. Wynn faces charges of theft by deceptive practice and ...Milan man accused of selling
  • USFS Looks For Outside Help With Timber Sales - WXPR September 17, 2014
    USFS Looks For Outside Help With Timber SalesWXPRThe Chequamegon-Nicolet has come under criticism from many in the forest products industry…for harvesting only about half as much timber as its forest plan calls for. Wisconsin's U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson both visited the Northwoods ...
  • Fire Retardant Paint Saved Calif. Timber Mill Building - September 17, 2014
    Firehouse.comFire Retardant Paint Saved Calif. Timber Mill BuildingFirehouse.comFirefighters hose down a hot spot in the rubble of home Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, that was destroyed by a wildfire in Weed, Calif. In just a few hours Monday, wind-driven flames destroyed or damaged roughly 100 homes. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli).California wildfire devastates lumb
  • State seeks to join Forest Service in legal defense of big Southeast timber sale - Alaska Dispatch September 17, 2014
    Alaska Public Radio NetworkState seeks to join Forest Service in legal defense of big Southeast timber saleAlaska DispatchThe Forest Service in August announced the Big Thorne sale on Prince of Wales Island, with nearly 150 million board feet of timber badly needed by local mills, but was almost immediately challenged in court by the Southeast Alaska Conserv
  • Oregon O&C timber bill now on post-election calendar for Senate energy ... - The Oregonian - September 17, 2014
    Oregon O&C timber bill now on post-election calendar for Senate energy ...The Oregonian - OregonLive.comThese forests in Josephine County include federal lands once owned by the Oregon & California Railroad and managed under a 1937 law that gave Oregon counties a large share of the revenue from timber harvests. (Jamie Francis/The Oregonian/2008 file 
  • Then and Now: McGoldrick lumber mill - The Spokesman Review September 16, 2014
    The Spokesman ReviewThen and Now: McGoldrick lumber millThe Spokesman ReviewJames P. McGoldrick, born in 1859, started in the timber business in Minnesota. Seeing that most of the lumber he sold came from the Northwest, he moved to Spokane in 1906 and bought a mill south of Gonzaga College, east of downtown Spokane.
  • New Lumber Liquidators Catalog Reveals Latest In Flooring Trends - MarketWatch September 15, 2014
    Iron Mountain Daily NewsNew Lumber Liquidators Catalog Reveals Latest In Flooring TrendsMarketWatch15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Lumber Liquidators LL, +1.73% the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America, has released its latest catalog showcasing the hottest trends and new floors of the fall home improvement season. It features ...Kingsfo

Lumber | Hardwood Lumber