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Category: Lumber News

Softwood Lumber Prices Mostly Flat While US Housing Starts Jump Almost 17% for December

Softwood Lumber Prices Mostly Flat While US Housing Starts Jump Almost 17% for December

New home building in the United States skyrocketted, by almost 17%, last month however this is after an almost equally sharp drop in November. Reasonably clement weather in the densely-populated US northeast last week allowed for quite robust construction activity, providing softwood lumber sellers the opportunity to hold prices mostly flat. Sudden winterly weather hit the west coast, meanwhile, absolutely stopping transportation and major outside activity for two days. As usual, within a few days the rain started and melted…

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North America Construction Framing Dimension Softwood Lumber Prices Firm over 2019-End

North America Construction Framing Dimension Softwood Lumber Prices Firm over 2019-End

As expected by most softwood lumber players at the end of last year, the generally buoyant demand for construction framing dimension lumber products at the end of 2019 carried through to somewhat strengthening prices in the first week back to work for sawmills across Canada and the US in 2020. The latest round of sawmill closures, mostly in British Columbia, and continually improving demand for home buying in the US are working to keep lumber supplies quite tight with demand….

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US Economy, Home Building 2020

US Economy, Home Building 2020

While Canada has diversified it’s softwood lumber export destinations since the US housing market downturn of 2008 to …. well, in a way still ongoing, the US remains solid customer of 60% of Canada’s softwood lumber production by volume. Macroeconomic conditions in the US have changed drastically in the past decade; not just the Millennial demographic reaching an average of 30 years of age, but also the mix of housing type demand has changed since the benchmarks established in the…

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US Home Building 2020

US Home Building 2020

“The main issue is — the price of homes in the US remains too high and the lack of good affordable housing,” said Don Magruder, CEO of RoMac Building Supply, in Daily Commercial online at the end of 2019. For the most part, this account is a good description of the US housing market. Affordable homes are selling much quicker than those above the US$225,000 level, explained Magruder. Commodity prices have moved lower this year and tariffs have not worked…

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Softwood Lumber and US Housing Market: 2020

Softwood Lumber and US Housing Market: 2020

The start of a new year, not to mention new decade, always heralds annual wrap-ups and predictions for the coming year. The end of last year did bring some clarity to several economics questions that had proved murky since mid-2018. For their part, construction framing softwood lumber prices ended 2019 generally even compared to the previous week, suggesting that producers and customers had struck a good supply-demand balance in the waning weeks of the year. Log supplies at sawmills were…

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North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: Oct 2019

North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: Oct 2019

Once again flat, as the previous two months, the latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track, for January-October 2019, shows US softwood lumber production volume still basically flat from from the same time last year, to 29,909 mmfbm. Also like last month, January – October softwood lumber production in Canada continued big drops since the beginning of 2019, this time falling -10.7%, to 20,779 mmfbm, compared to the first ten months of 2018 when it was…

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Global Softwood Lumber Trade Complications

Global Softwood Lumber Trade Complications

The biggest issue by far for Canada’s forest products industry as 2019 comes to a close is: complications to global trade.There are two major unknowns right now; one in each of the political arenas Canada uses to battle the never-ending disputes with the United States over softwood lumber duties. At the World Trade Organization, where Canada is right now in hearings, a dearth of judges threatens to stall all dispute resolution cases. Due to a refusal by member states to…

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US Housing Starts vs Softwood Lumber Prices: 3Q 2019

US Housing Starts vs Softwood Lumber Prices: 3Q 2019

Housing starts in the US grew +3.2% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.365 million and the pace for October was revised upward, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Commerce December 17. Median US House Sales Price vs Benchmark North American Construction Framing Dimension Softwood Lumber Prices: 2016 – 2019 December 17, 2019  “The price of benchmark lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr last week was unchanged from the week before, still at…

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US House Prices vs. Softwood Lumber Prices: Dec 2019

US House Prices vs. Softwood Lumber Prices: Dec 2019

Median US House Sales Price vs Benchmark North American Construction Framing Dimension Softwood Lumber Prices: 3Q 2019 US house prices rose in 3Q 2019, up +1.1 per cent according to the US Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI), released November 26. House prices in the US rose +4.9 per cent from 3Q 2018 to 3Q 2019. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up +0.6 per cent from August. “According to the latest home price forecast…

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New NAFTA Deal Signed, Softwood Lumber Prices Hold Steady

New NAFTA Deal Signed, Softwood Lumber Prices Hold Steady

A significant uncertainty for North American business owners was resolved Tuesday as Canada, the US, and Mexico signed the new trilateral trade agreement, the CUSMA. Full details will be revealed soon, and the new deal will take effect January 1, 2020. Also this week the Western Wood Products Association released its latest monthly Lumber Track of Canadian and US softwood lumber production and sawmill capacity utilization data, for September 2019. There is not much improvement in the figures, since all…

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