Poplar’s run of strong domestic and export demand will continue for the foreseeable future. Domestically, Poplar will remain one of the strongest selling species to millwork, moulding and furniture manufacturers.
Meanwhile, Poplar exports to China, Vietnam and Mexico will be at or near record levels in the months ahead. European purchases of Poplar will level off but won’t decline; it remains a good value despite increasingly unfavorable exchange rates. With production increasing, kiln-dried Poplar prices have probably topped out despite the strong outlook.
This is shaping up to be another record year for Red Oak exports to China. Many exporters already have sizeable orders for delivery after Chinese New Year, which will grow further over the next few weeks.
Chinese buyers won’t have the leverage to force down prices for upper-grade Red Oak—which isn’t abundant—but they’ll get concessions on #1 and #2 Common.
Flooring plants will limit Red Oak purchases through February, and then open their doors ahead of seasonally stronger business in the spring. Upper-grade Red Oak sales should be decent to distributors and commercial millwork firms as both sectors see improved business.
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