Kiln-Dried Fir Softwood Lumber Sales Momentum Loss: December 2017
As in green fir, consistent and strong demand for Kiln-Dried Douglas-fir softwood lumber continued to come out of California – particularly the Southern part of the state – but overall it wasn’t enough to keep producers from lowering their asking prices. Players in the US intimated that the weaker prices had to do, at least in part, with an influx of Canadian dry fir that mills in the Great White North were trying to push across the border in advance of upcoming softwood lumber duties.
Canadian dry fir producers tried to get wheels rolling across the border, but their rail car shipments continued to be held up by late arriving –or just altogether missing – cars.
Weekly Softwood Lumber Prices Key Comment Dec 15, 2017:
“Most players reported a relatively healthy market considering the time of year.”
Western SPF Mobile
Western-Spruce-Pine-Fir softwood lumber producers in the United States had more active sales than their Canadian counterparts this week, selling at a discount to print in many cases to keep their inventories lean and mobile.
Sawmill order files varied from mill-to-mill, with most producers maintaining late-December bookings in regard to their bread and butter sizes. The odd mixed load of straight lengths was available for earlier shipment.
Canadian WSPF mills had “a slow sales start” to the week but inquiry picked up by Wednesday. Canadian sawmill order files were still into the week of December 18th and shipments were typically one week late due to rail car problems.
Softwood lumber producers’ on-ground inventories were mounting up; they would have been shipping more if rail cars weren’t so slow and hard to come by.
Meanwhile, log supply remained “tight” and dependent on weather. Folks were turning to every transportation option imaginable to get wood moved before duties kick in.