With the deep freeze that has inundated the eastern half of the United States contributing to the drop, prices for logs and lumber processed on the West Coast have dipped over the last couple of months. Sales are down and wood inventories are up. The market today is not what was being hoped for and expected just a few months ago.
“There was a quick uptick in the market in late 2014, and that had a lot of people in the industry anticipating a good start to the new year,” said Shawn Church, editor of Random Lengths, a Eugene-based publication that tracks the log and lumber businesses.
“There was also the forecast of housing starts increasing again. They had been up to 1 million in ’14 and they were forecast to total 1.1 to 1.2 million in 2015. This all gave everybody high expectations for a good start to the year,” he said.
The end of 2014, with positive factors such as home construction projects, improving home prices, mortgage interest rates at around 4 percent and steady stud prices, made the year comparable to the good year of 2005.
Steve Killgore, vice president of sales and marketing for Roseburg Forest Products, said the company finished 2014 in good shape and was moving wood products all across the U.S. But then winter hit the eastern half of the U.S. hard with snow and bitter cold, bringing any construction to a halt. The U.S. is the largest market for softwood lumber products.
From the Greenfield Daily Reporter: http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/1e87b6183f87496eb61f1afc79ba47b3/OR–Wood-Market