U.S. hardwood lumber exports to Asia were down 10% on the year through June. However, more than half of exporters reported improving sales to China in August, a marked turnaround from the steadily falling demand of the past year.
U.S. hardwood lumber exports totaled 129 million board feet in May, down 2% from the prior month and 15% from May 2014.
Hardwood Publishing’s forward-looking price indices for key hardwood species reflect expectations of lower Red Oak, White Oak, Hard Maple and Soft Maple prices over the next 30 days.
While U.S. hardwood exports lagged in May and June 2015, domestic demand for hardwood lumber continued to improve. Home construction, which dipped in May, was set to move higher, as both permitting and builder confidence rose - which played out as expected when June figures surged. New and existing home sales also expanded, driving better demand for cabinets, moulding and millwork.
Soft maple has taken over hard maple for control of the global maple market and has driven prices for cherry down. Unfortunately, the demand for cherry has not risen.
U.S. hardwood lumber exports through April trailed the 2014 pace by 7%. With global inventories still on the high side, most buyers will take only what they need through the summer. Until the market finds its bottom this fall, buyers will only bite on larger blocks at deep discounts.
May 2015 was another slow month for North American hardwood lumber exports, according to exporters and buyers in most global markets.
On May 22, Hardwood Publishing released its updated Leading Hardwood Demand Indicator (LHDI), a forecast of future demand for U.S. hardwood lumber based on residential and commercial construction, import/export trends, inflation levels, and job markets.