Pricing in future contracts on lumber for construction have been dropping, as wood supplies mounted during the extended winter freeze, and home building slowed.

Supplies also built up over shipping issues. The challenge in moving lumber was increased by the effects of the polar vortex, which also impeded other users of the rail lines, especially grain shippers. The Canada truckers strike at the Port of Vancouver also impeded movement of lumber, and the Canadian National Railway set limits in March on forest products shipments to allow the pipeline to catch up.  

"That has come off," says Mark Hallman, a spokesman for the Canadian National Railway, following the the strike settlement at the end of March.

Lumber pricing will like firm up, say analysts, as the market absorbs the backlog, and home building resumes with the warming weather. A real-time lumber futures index is posted at  WoodworkingNetwork.com's Wood Channel.

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