Loggers curtailed activity in some areas and completely suspended operations in others, as hardwood forests across much of the eastern U.S. and Canada were wet, and in some cases, submerged.

Potential hardwood lumber shortages were a frequent topic of conversation, with opinions varying widely. For the time being, at least, concentration yards and secondary wood products manufacturers have been receiving adequate volumes of green lumber, with Ash and Hard Maple the main exceptions.

Buyers of green and klin-dried lumber remain quite price-sensitive, although more items firmed than softened in price last week.

Weather-induced production disruptions will bolster lumber prices for several months—longer than production was disrupted—as mills struggle to secure the cash and logs needed to get production back up to speed.

Sawmills and concentration yards have been relying more heavily on exports, particularly to China. However, Chinese buyers now have large lumber inventories and some are starting to slow purchases. Mills will be cautious not to overproduce species for which they can’t move the full breadth of thickness and grades to Asia or Europe. There is simply not enough domestic demand to absorb excess production, and yards will be cautious to focus on items they know will move easily.


 U.S. lumber rain out; China demand lags

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