Colder weather across the Eastern hardwood producing regions has improved logging conditions. Log supplies were generally plentiful in the South, mixed in the Upper Midwest, and on the low side in parts of the Northeast and Middle Appalachians.
Green lumber was in generally good supply, but demand was off as some users tried to balance inventories. Overall, however, kiln-dried orders began to improve. One salesman commented, “Supply and demand for lumber are now even.”
Hardwood sales to cabinet plants were steady to a bit better. Flooring plants continued to restrict incoming lumber with lower prices and/or by restricting purchase orders to a few loads per vendor. One flooring plant said mills shipped so much lumber in December that it would not be buying in January. Exporters have received a few new orders from Chinese buyers to ship in late February.
There is uncertainty, however, with markets like Vietnam that depend heavily on re-exports to the U.S. and Europe. Some exporters reported problems getting containers, and with delayed shipments.
Low-grade demand was steady, with pallet cants and ties still in relatively short supply.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.