Lumber traders struggled back to their desks Monday morning after an epic North American Wholesale Lumbermen’s Association AGM in Las Vegas, NV, last week to discover very weak field inventories, rising lumber prices and continued strong demand, writes Keta Kosman in Madison’s Lumber Reporter.
Naturally, lumber prices responded generally upward as the usual seasonal slowdown of lumber buying and selling continues to be elusive so far this year.
Customers in the U.S., having refused to stock up on wood due to concern that prices might crash, were forced to book significant orders with lumber producers this week.
As a result, sawmill order files on most dimension lumber commodities stretched out toward U.S. Thanksgiving. Traders reported to Madison’s that if sales remain strong until that date, manufacturers will sell out of expected production before seasonal curtailments come into effect for year-end.
Counter offers were laughed off as producers increased prices as much as the market would bear. Benchmark dimension lumber item Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr popped $16, or 4.2%, to U.S. $380 mfbm (net FOB mill). This is astonishing for the time of year, and was likely helped in no small part by the announcement of two major sawmill closures in British Columbia this coming spring.