MADISON’S LUMBER MARKET COMMENT: JUNE 15 2015
Fresh data out last week from Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, and the US Census shows improvement for forest products manufacturing sales and exports in North America so far this year.
Nationally, StatsCan data shows the total VALUE of exports by Canadian sawmills for January to April up 15.3 per cent over the previous year. Canadian lumber exports to the US specifically increased by 13.3 per cent. Exports to China were also up, by 20.1 per cent.
In the US, sawmill products exports to China for January to April 2015 dropped by 17.1 per cent because rising US production is being consumed domestically for new home building projects.
Benchmark WSPF KD 2×4 #2&Btr dimension lumber price (net FOB mill) this week is US294 mfbm, up $14 from last week but down 9.3 per cent from US$324 in mid-June 2014.
This biggest difference from last year, for the lumber market, is that the major transportation problems of 1Q 2014 did not happen this year.
The construction framing lumber supply chain is well-stocked, from producers through secondary suppliers. Demand dropped a few weeks ago but is sustained enough to bring the softwood lumber export tax up to the full 15 per cent in July (BC and AB). Log supplies are reported high at producers in all North American jurisdictions (West, East, South).
Buying from China also remains stable over last year but that market is described as incredibly soft since an absolute stop in buying at the beginning of 4Q 2014 sent terror through the hearts of anyone who has delicately been trying to establish a stable wood-sales business with that country for the past three years.
Outlook for China remains no substantial growth in softwood lumber imports from North America/Canada for the next three years.