Softwood lumber prices drop

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Producers of Western S-P-F (spruce, pine, and fir) lumber in the United States reduced asking prices on some of the more commonly-traded commodities in an effort to entice circumspect customers, according to the weekly forest products industry price guide newsletter Madison’s Lumber Reporter.

In Canada, prices were “wildly variable and confusing to buyers,” and downward pressure was evident for Western S-P-F lumber items.

The report said that the economy is approaching the time of year when most of the largest-volume lumber customers — the major US home building companies — have made their purchases for expected projects in the busy spring construction season, lumber demand usually softens. Last year this did not happen, but this year it looks like some of the usual seasonal cycles might be returning, according to the report.

After several weeks staying relatively flat, for the week ending April 1, 2022 the price of benchmark softwood lumber item Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) was down -$107 or -8% from the previous week, at US$1,303 mfbm, according to the report. That week’s price is down by -$80, or -6% from one month ago when it was $1,383.

Among other news, Madison’s Lumber Report said that burgeoning construction activity continued to spread upward from the US South as spring weather descended on the higher latitudes of North America.
Buyers remained cautious as cracks started to show in price levels this week, especially for dimension lumber.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).