Hardwood lumber sales in January were a bit better than expected, but February has been quiet so far.
Sawmills reported that margins are very poor or nonexistent. Log supplies continued to be impacted by wet and warmer than normal weather.
Regardless of the weather, many loggers were finding ways to bring in enough logs to keep mills operating.
“Neither the loggers nor sawmills can afford to quit!” noted one sawmill owner.
Shipments of green lumber were steady, with most buyers finding supplies in January and February better than they expected, with the main exception of Poplar. High log demand by plywood plants was reportedly a major reason for short supplies and high prices on Poplar logs.
Distribution yards in the West were quiet; however, some increased business was reported by yards in the Midwest. Shipments of lumber to strip flooring plants remained slow, as many have reduced production.
Truck trailer flooring plants also limited purchases because most already had more lumber than they needed. Orders from millwork and component plants were hand-to-mouth, and demand from cabinet plants was quite slow. Crosstie purchases were steady, and pallet cant orders were fair.
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