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

  • Game action from the 3A/4A Hardwood Classic on Thursday - The Seattle Times March 6, 2015
    The Seattle TimesGame action from the 3A/4A Hardwood Classic on ThursdayThe Seattle TimesRainier Beach guard Dejounte Murray tips the shot away from Bellevue small forward Javon Jefferson in the first half during a 3A Boys Quarterfinal match during the Hardwood Classic. Rainier Beach beat Bellevue 74-65. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times).
  • Hagerty comes back in second half to beat Timber Creek 10-6 - Orlando Sentinel (blog) March 6, 2015
    Orlando Sentinel (blog)Hagerty comes back in second half to beat Timber Creek 10-6Orlando Sentinel (blog)Timber Creek's Lauren Sherry pounds her fist into the ground out of frustration during their loss to St. Johns Bartram Trail in the FHSAA girls lacrosse state semifinal at West Orange High School in Orlando, Fla. Friday, May 3, 2013. (Gary W. Green .
  • Timber - Thegardenisland.com March 6, 2015
    Thegardenisland.comTimberThegardenisland.comBy the time the facility goes online in April, DOFAW is expected to be hauling timber from Kokee. Up to 10 logging trucks per day will travel between the reforestation site and the plant. Hadway and Patrick Porter, the Kauai forestry manager for DOFAW ...and more »
  • HS Boys' basketball: Awarding the 'Hardwood Heroes' - Vineland Daily Journal March 6, 2015
    HS Boys' basketball: Awarding the 'Hardwood Heroes'Vineland Daily JournalWith so many accomplishments already, the time is now to dish out this year's "Hardwood Heroes" awards. The honors are meant solely for fun and bragging rights, and have no bearing on the forthcoming Player of the Year and First-Team All-Star ...
  • 3M Moves Toward Using Sustainably Logged Timber - New York Times March 6, 2015
    3M Moves Toward Using Sustainably Logged TimberNew York TimesThe manufacturing giant 3M, which makes Post-it notes, will take new steps to ensure that its suppliers of paper, pulp and packaging provide materials that come from sustainably logged timber. Environmental activists have accused the company of ...and more »
  • Local Nonprofits Concerned After Threat of Formaldehyde in Flooring - NBC 7 San Diego March 5, 2015
    New York PostLocal Nonprofits Concerned After Threat of Formaldehyde in FlooringNBC 7 San DiegoHabitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House Charities are looking into wood flooring given to them by Lumber Liquidators after a 60 Minutes piece found the product showed unacceptable levels of formaldehyde. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports.Analysts downplay
  • Despite looming cut, changes to timber program debated - Juneau Empire (subscription) March 5, 2015
    Juneau Empire (subscription)Despite looming cut, changes to timber program debatedJuneau Empire (subscription)Even with that cut threatening to make their discussion null and void, opponents and proponents of the timber industry showed up to a House Resources committee meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss modifying the program's rules. The Department
  • Lumber Liquidators is getting whacked after senator calls for testing of the ... - Business Insider March 4, 2015
    Business InsiderLumber Liquidators is getting whacked after senator calls for testing of the ...Business InsiderUnfortunately, the laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators bears resemblance to that defective product, which was widely installed in Florida homes, caused metal corrosion, and negatively impacted public health. Furthermore, the drywall debacl
  • Grant Road Lumber set to close after 66 years - Arizona Daily Star March 4, 2015
    Arizona Daily StarGrant Road Lumber set to close after 66 yearsArizona Daily StarAfter 66 years, the Grant Road Lumber Company is saying its goodbyes to Tucson. The business, owned and operated since 1948 by the Hauert family, announced this week that it will cease operations at both of its locations — its midtown retail store at ...and more »
  • Woman's Home Improvement Comes To Halt Over Formaldehyde Flooring - CBS Local March 3, 2015
    CBS LocalWoman's Home Improvement Comes To Halt Over Formaldehyde FlooringCBS LocalMORRISON, Colo. (CBS4) – An investigation by 60 Minutes found the country's largest seller of hardwood flooring may be using products that don't meet health and safety standards. Some of Lumber Liquidator's cheaper laminate flooring contains high ...Calif.

Lumber | Hardwood Lumber