Production at U.S. hardwood sawmills continues to rise, and with summer holidays in eastern Canada over, Canadian output has also started to increase. While most species moved at a good clip, slow demand and falling prices for Red Oak and Hard Maple put a damper on sales for sawmills. Concentration yards pushed for lower green prices on these and some other species to protect margins from kiln-dried price declines that have already occurred or might occur in the future. Both sawmills and concentration yards remain upbeat about fall business prospects, however.
Higher sawmill production has allowed some low-grade markets to catch up on supply. Frame stock sales were fairly good, but prices continue to erode with increased production. Supply and demand for crane mat timbers has also become more closely balanced. Some pallet manufacturers have filled up on pallet cants, though the vast majority have not. Markets for railroad ties remain vastly undersupplied.
Exporters received a lot more inquiries last week—particularly from Chinese buyers—but those same buyers were pushing for price reductions on Red Oak, Hard Maple, Ash and, in some cases, White Oak.
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