The growth in Northern U.S. supplies will lag Appalachian and Southern regions, as kiln turns won’t speed up as quickly. As such, price gains should last a little longer in the North. Red Oak production is ramping up, however, and short-term price increases will give way to leveling out later in the summer. The outlook for the rest of the regions of the U.S.:
Appalachian – About the time the woods dry out in western and southern parts of the region, lumber prices will be leveling off, buying will feel less urgent, and higher stumpage costs will challenge the profitability of increased production. Demand should remain strong enough, however, to support cautious growth and current prices.
Southern – When temperatures rise and rains recede, drying operations in the South can practically double kiln throughput compared to winter. Uncooperative weather this year won’t allow for that kind of acceleration in turns, but a KD supply bump is still coming that will level-off prices for most items by mid-August.
Western – Alder demand will trend higher over the next two months. Western cabinet plants will purchase more to support expanding production, and distribution yards will buy more for re-sale to small cabinet and millwork shops. Alder exports to China may seasonally slip from Feb-Apr highs but will stay quite healthy.
Eastern Canadian – Shortages in the U.S. are driving many secondary manufacturers northward for lumber. Canadian mills should benefit from this, especially in Hard and Soft Maple. In the short term, some mills in Canada will saw more Yellow Birch due to better margins than on Hard Maple, even though prices have plateaued.
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