Ash lumber exports from the U.S. reached record levels each year from 2010-2013, and year-to-date exports were up another 33% through April 2014.
Demand for Ash in China—which accounts for 70% of exported volume—will not slow in the near-term, but Chinese buyers will resist further bumps in Ash prices, which rose 10-25% in just the last 6 months. White Oak’s firm, relatively high prices and limited availability should bolster Ash shipments to Europe after summer holidays.
Growth in Ash sales to flooring plants and RV furnishings producers will keep overall domestic demand steady despite slow shipments to furniture and baseball bat producers.
Appalachian kiln-dried 4/4 Cherry prices—averaged across all grades—climbed $305 per thousand board feet (MBF) for 90/50 Red and $125/MBF for Unselected since January 2014.
The next 60 days will bring more firming. Cabinet plants will buy more Cherry for installation in high-end homes, and millwork shops will increasingly substitute Cherry for Walnut and tropical woods.
Moreover, year-to-date Cherry shipments to China were up 77% through April, and demand is reportedly still growing in China, Mexico and several other markets. Cherry production, however, will remain low until landowners see timber prices approach past norms.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.