North America softwood lumber prices took quite a tumble again last week as customers bought leanly and negotiated hard, and producers claimed sawmill order files have stretched out to two weeks. Some operators in the East were able to nail down a solid price floor.
As forest industry activity and sawmilling in Canada and the US winds down for 2018, the very robust US home building and softwood lumber demand from emerging markets has operators — in the forest, at manufacturing, and with transportation — quite encouraged. Thankfully, across North America forestry players report no problems at all with railways or transportation issues otherwise.
On the note of transportation, last week at the Wood Pellet Association of Canada AGM in Vancouver, a top representative from CN Rail laid out what capital investments and service improvements that Canadian railway has made since the abysmal logistics and supply-chain interruptions of second-half 2017 and first-half 2018. Be sure to check our website for this important update.
Now that end-users have all the wood they ordered throughout this year, buyers and sellers are haggling with agonizing detail as the lumber market resets itself after a very rocky year.
Bad weather is upon North America, putting a stop to major construction activity in many regions. Of course, rebuilding, remodelling and do-it-yourself work continues. Soon the freeze will be on in the west and north, providing sawmills the opportunity to get more logging activity going before the end of this year. The usual hope is for the lumber yard to be empty come December 31, but the log yard to be full. This way lumber producers are best poised for renewed selling at the start of the following year.
The next issue of the fabulous Madison’s BC Coast Log Prices, including August log price data, was released Friday. This is not BC government data, this is real logs sold at the Vancouver Log Market (see tech details here: https://madisonsreport.com/2018/09/27/british-columbia-coast-log-prices-august-2018-preview/).
These are market prices, they are transaction-based. This is a brand-new data set which which Madison’s started in May 2018, will be tracking every month going forward: