In the hardwood industry, concerns are growing about the potential for overproduction.
The pace of production has indeed picked up across all eastern regions.
In the Northern U.S., the mud season has been short, and log inventories at sawmills are in much better shape after a few weeks of warmer weather.As log decks have grown, mills have increased production schedules accordingly, including some reports of 50-hour weeks and double shifts.
Many mills across the Northern U.S. region are rushing to process as much “whitewood” (Hard Maple, Soft Maple and Hickory) as possible to control stain.
Log supplies have also improved across PA, NY and parts of IN, OH and WV. Some PA and NY mills are “double-shifting” 6 days a week, while many across the central part of the region are just getting back to 40-hour, single-shift weeks.
Price impacts have thus far been minimal, though whitewood prices are beginning to feel the production increase as mills rushed to beat summer staining. In the South, heavy rainfall in Mississippi and western Alabama temporarily disrupted some logging operations last week, but not enough to significantly alter log decks at most sawmills.
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