Softwood lumber prices in the US and Canada are back on the rise as an improving housing market in the US has fed through to higher levels of demand and Canadian exports of softwood lumber to China are booming, the latest report has found.

In its January 2013 edition of Timber Trends released earlier this week by The Campbell Group, LLC, forest economist Bruce P. Glass says that after a lull following the GFC, prices of softwood lumber in North America shot back up last year as American housing starts recovered.

Glass says a 19% rise in US housing starts in the year to October helped underpin price increases of southern pine and western hemlock of 48% and 32%, respectively, in the year leading to last November.

Saw log prices, however, have not been affected as pine log prices in the US South have hardly moved in two years and saw log prices in the northern US have been stable for the better part of 12 months.

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