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

  • Timber Joey surprises Peninsula Elementary classes; reads a favorite book to ... - The Oregonian - OregonLive.com October 20, 2014
    The Oregonian - OregonLive.comTimber Joey surprises Peninsula Elementary classes; reads a favorite book to ...The Oregonian - OregonLive.comTimber Joey, mascot for the Portland Timbers, was the special surprise reading guest for a group of Peninsula Elementary School students in kindergarten through second grade on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Joey was at the scho
  • Will Lumber Liquidators (LL) Q3 Earnings Miss Estimates? - Zacks.com October 20, 2014
    Will Lumber Liquidators (LL) Q3 Earnings Miss Estimates?Zacks.comLumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (LL - Snapshot Report), a specialty retailer in the home improvement services industry, is set to report its third-quarter 2014 results on Oct 22, 2014. Last quarter, it posted in-line earnings. Let us see how things ...and more »
  • Founder of Gorman Bro Lumber Leaves Behind a Legacy - KelownaNow October 20, 2014
    KelownaNowFounder of Gorman Bro Lumber Leaves Behind a LegacyKelownaNowA West Kelowna businessman who helped change the community has passed away at the age of 93. Ross Gorman was one of the two brothers to open Gorman Bro. Lumber in West Kelowna in the 1950s. But on Friday he passed away after suffering a stroke ...Ross Gorman passes awayCastanet.netall 2 n
  • Keeping hardwood floors beautiful is easier than you think - Shore News Today October 20, 2014
    Keeping hardwood floors beautiful is easier than you thinkShore News TodayKeeping hardwood floors beautiful is easier than you think No matter what the setting, the good looks and durability of hardwood floors can be maintained with minimal effort, according to the American Hardwood Information Center. It's simply a matter ...Can't mess with a clas
  • Henrico woman's home robbed by men posing as flooring salesmen - WWBT October 20, 2014
    Henrico woman's home robbed by men posing as flooring salesmenWWBTThe woman who lived in the home said a man had knocked on her door and claimed to have known her deceased husband. Once the first man was inside the woman's home, police said another man entered the home with a large piece of linoleum flooring.and more »
  • County OKs storm timber sale - Sawyer County Record October 20, 2014
    Sawyer County RecordCounty OKs storm timber saleSawyer County RecordThe Sawyer County Land, Water and Forest Resources Committee approved high bids totaling $505,421 from loggers to cut and remove timber that was blown down in last month's storms on the county forest. County Forest Administrator Greg Peterson said ...and more »
  • Bat proposal worries Black Hills timber industry - Sioux Falls Argus Leader October 20, 2014
    Sioux Falls Argus LeaderBat proposal worries Black Hills timber industrySioux Falls Argus LeaderA listing would restrict forest management, including timber harvest and mountain pine beetle management, said Ben Wudtke, forest programs manager for the Black Hills Forest Resource Association. A possible restriction would be no harvesting of trees ...and more »
  • Hardwood Lumber; Producing, Using and Selling - Purdue Agricultural Communications October 20, 2014
    Hardwood Lumber; Producing, Using and SellingPurdue Agricultural CommunicationsThe hardwood industry is composed of a very diverse group of individuals, small companies and large companies that produce timber and continue to add value until a wood product finally ends up available to an individual consumer or to an industrial user.
  • GEORGE OCHENSKI: Myth of roadblocks to timber supply debunked - The Missoulian October 20, 2014
    GEORGE OCHENSKI: Myth of roadblocks to timber supply debunkedThe MissoulianSteve Bullock; D-Mont., timber industry officials and a handful of conservation collaborators that there's some kind of terrible roadblock to timber harvests in Montana that requires drastic congressional action to resolve. Nothing could be further ...and more »
  • Henrico police seek thieves posing as flooring salesmen - Richmond Times-Dispatch October 20, 2014
    Henrico police seek thieves posing as flooring salesmenRichmond Times-DispatchHenrico County police are looking for suspects after jewelry and money were taken from an elderly resident's home Sunday. Police say the suspects, posing as flooring salesmen, entered the home of a 79-year-old resident in the 5500 block of Cedar Croft ...79-Year-Old Henrico Wo

Lumber | Hardwood Lumber