It was another tough week for the Southern yellow pine market. Volume continued to be abnormally flat considering the Spring buying season is upon us. The extremely negative housing data from February was undoubtedly a black cloud over an industry desperately looking for a silver lining in this economy. For the week, prices were down in both #1 and #2 grade lumber with some #2 items down over 5% . Surprisingly, #3 and industrial grades were flat with little price change in either direction. Overall, our weekly composite price fell $13 down to $267. - Bill Nocerino, Manager, Lumber Division, Forest2Market

Commodities Daily, a blog at WallSt247, says "the disaster in Japan should begin to have an impact on lumber sales, once the country gets into rebuilding mode. Right now, the Japanese are still struggling to get their nuclear reactors under control and to finish locating the dead and missing. But repairing the utter devastation of the area hit by the tsunami should give lumber suppliers a boost within a few months.

The lumber industry is still hit hard by the lack of new home construction in the US. Demand for lumber from China picked up some, but the pick-up has not been sustained. Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY) said that it would be cutting down fewer trees to keep prices from falling. --Lumber analysis from Commodities Daily

Forisk Consulting forecasts sawtimber prices for the US South strengthening 4.6% into 2012 and 5.5% into 2013 as lumber production increases with housing starts. Alternately, pine pulpwood – the lower valued raw material used for pulp, OSB and bioenergy – gains 1.4% and 2.7% into 2012 and 2013 South-wide, with high variance across the 11 states covered in Forisk's models. -- Source: Forisk Consulting

CME Random Length  Lumber Futures
March 24 2011
Month Last Change Prior
Open High Low Volume Updated
May 2011 316.00 +2.90 313.10 315.00 316.40 315.00 21 6:56:36 PM CST
Jul 2011 332.30 +1.30 331.00 331.30 332.30 331.30 11 6:52:12 PM CST
Sep 2011 334.80 +1.50 333.30 334.80 334.80 334.80

 Source: Chicago Mercantile Exchange March 24, 2011.


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.