And what a year it has been, holey moley.
Sawmills across Canada and the US will hardly get a chance to assess this wild year as year- end inventory in their yards is calculated before the New Year 2018, with it’s punishing softwood lumber duty, comes on.
It is usual for the entire province of Québec — log harvesters, haulers, sawmills, and lumber transporters alike — to take a full two-week break over the holiday season. Often it is during this time that much-needed inventory and maintenance work is carried out…which can be said of all sawmills, not just those in eastern Canada.
However, given the *bang* in lumber sales right at the beginning of this year, and it’s ever-in- creasing commodity prices, coupled with rather hot demand even after the usually uneventful US Thanksgiving long weekend, operators are surely both anticipating and dreading the start of 2018.
The graphs below illustrate December-only prices for WSPF KD 2×4 #2&Btr and OSB 7/16:
Current Softwood Lumber Prices Compared to Historical Highs
The below table is a comparison of June and December 2017 prices for benchmark dimension softwood lumber 2×4 prices compared to historical highs of 2004/05: