With key overseas markets seasonally slower, Ash shipments slipped a bit, although exporters still have solid order files for post-Christmas and Chinese New Year delivery.
Most activity in FAS/1F Cherry appears driven by price, and even bargain shoppers were highly selective for width, length and color; however, inventories are slowly being depleted. Demand for 4/4 #1 and #2 Common Cherry has been more consistent, thanks in part to solid demand from China.
Cabinet manufacturers reported steady to slightly higher demand for their products, with Hard Maple and Soft Maple lines leading the way. While not all lumber sellers enjoyed robust Hard Maple sales, Soft Maple moved well for most everyone. Supplies of both Maples were tight at the mill and yard levels.
Several mills are sold out of kiln-dried 4/4 FAS/1F Red Oak into January, and many have orders from flooring plants for all their green 4/4 #2&3A Common Red Oak production into February. Flooring plants have also been buying larger volumes of green 4/4 #1 Common Red Oak. Demand climbed for kiln-dried 4/4 #1 Common Red Oak, though sellers still fielded some lowball offers from buyers.
Exporters pushed out their last containers of FAS/1F White Oak to Europe until after the holidays, and were busy preparing #1 Common containers to leave before the window closes on shipments to China. 4/4 #2&3A Common White Oak weren’t quite as hot as their Red Oak counterparts, but they were close.
While demand for 4/4 FAS/1F Poplar remains very strong, several contacts noted that FAS/1F
No improvements were noted in Walnut demand, though one contact said he was at least able to move his FAS/1F and #1 Common stock.