Madison’s Lumber Reporter has received several inquiries over the past couple of weeks about the reasons behind the sudden surge in #3/Utility grade Western-Spruce-Pine-Fir dimension softwood lumber prices.
After connecting with industry, Madison’s discovered these lumber market conditions:
- Sales volumes cruised along at a “great pace” this week for Canadian producers of Western-Spruce-Pine-Fir softwood lumber commodities.
- Demand for 2×10 High Line was apparently the hottest thing in the universe, while supplies of low grade offerings were scant yet in high demand.
- Over the winter months substantial volumes of #3/Utility were sent overseas into Asian markets, leading to a dearth of domestic inventory at all levels.
- Meanwhile, rail troubles persisted as already-overdue CN cars headed for Prince Rupert, BC’s, deepwater port bypassed switches serving many sawmills in Northern British Columbia.
Feb. 3, 2020: Western-Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #3/Utility S4S (RL) Wholesaler Prices (net FOB sawmill) or “Print”
In week ending January 31, 2020, WSPF 2×4 KD #3/Utility price was US$302 mfbm, an increase of +$18, or +6%, from last week. This week’s price is +$36, or 14%, more than it was one month ago. Compared to one year ago, prices are down -$8, or 3%.
This week’s WSPF 2×4 KD #3/Utility price is up +$13, or 5%, relative to the 1-year rolling average price of US$289 mfbm and down -$33, or 10% relative to the 2-year rolling average price of US$335 mfbm.