While some contacts indicated that hardwood lumber sales have slowed in June and July, many we surveyed said business is still pretty good. At the very least, sales appear to be holding, whereas most years at this time they weaken. Sawmills continued to struggle to get as many logs as they would like, with the problem seemingly equal parts wet weather and logger shortages. The biggest log supply issues were in KY, TN and across the Deep South. Still, hardwood lumber production continued to gradually increase as closed mills reopened and existing mills added hours.
All grades of strip flooring sold briskly, and a few plants were still unable to bring in enough lumber. Prices of strip flooring continued their weekly increase. Kitchen cabinet sales were steady and cabinet demand was strong from RV producers. Distribution yard sales were slower the past two weeks, but overall business this year remains up. Low-grade lumber demand was robust. One mill in KY said that loggers are now moving tree-length logs to board road and mat producers for $50 a ton. In most of the U.S., markets for pallet cants were strong and supplies were tight. Railroad tie demand was steady. Summertime exports pace more slowly last week than earlier in the year, as is normal.
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