Severe weather brought flooding and pushed loggers out of the woods in many areas last week.

Sawmills reported declining log inventories and lower production, and end-users, in turn, noted reduced green lumber receipts. Several mills said they do not have much green lumber on sticks and that kiln-dried lumber supply is dropping.

“I was in the driver’s seat as a buyer just a couple of weeks ago,” commented the purchasing agent for one flooring plant. “Now it feels like I’m in the back seat.” All of this has prompted lots of speculation about lumber price increases.


Many in the hardwood industry continued to voice concerns about the rising cost of fuel and related increases in trucking charges. Green lumber producers, in particular, noted that fuel prices are starting to limit the distance green lumber can be shipped. Shippers of kiln-dried lumber were not always able to get trucks, and fuel surcharges of 35% were not uncommon.

Canadian contacts mentioned the strong loonie (Canadian dollar) as a major problem, and most are concerned that the U.S. dollar will continue to lose ground over the next several months—making it very difficult for them to compete against U.S. lumber.

Severe weather may hike lumber price





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