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Category: Weekly Softwood Lumber Blog

Madison’s Forest of Products: July 2019

Madison’s Forest of Products: July 2019

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Softwood Lumber Prices Flatline as Supply Balances with Demand

Softwood Lumber Prices Flatline as Supply Balances with Demand

The closures and curtailments at North American softwood lumber manufacturers earlier this year, almost all at British Columbia sawmills, has achieved it’s intended consequence of improved supply-demand balance. Until that wood production went offline, order files at most sawmills were one week or less, which is incredibly short for the time of year. In recent weeks producers have been able to extend those order files to a more healthy duration, last week most reporting to have enough orders that future…

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US New Home Sales: May 2019

US New Home Sales: May 2019

Contracts for new, single-family home sales in the US declined to a 626,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in May according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau Tuesday. This was a surprising drop due to recent softening of mortgage interest rates and continued low unemployment. Recent months’ data have been relatively positive, with the revised March pace of 705,000 being the second highest since the Great Recession. The decline in May is off recent trends. However, for…

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US Lumber Imports & Exports vs Softwood Lumber Prices: April 2019

US Lumber Imports & Exports vs Softwood Lumber Prices: April 2019

US lumber imports from the world crashed in April, down -22% from March, said US Census Bureau in the latest data release Tuesday. US lumber imports from Canada are down almost -25%. US lumber imports from China are down only -5% in April 2019 compared to March. US exports of softwood lumber for April 2019 are down -22, said US Census in the latest data release Tuesday. US lumber exports to all countries dropped drastically, except to China where it…

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Canada Lumber Manufacturing & Sales, Exports vs Softwood Lumber Prices: April 2019

Canada Lumber Manufacturing & Sales, Exports vs Softwood Lumber Prices: April 2019

Lumber production in Canada increased by +18.7% from February to 5,528.3 thousand cubic metres in March, said Statistics Canada in the latest data release June 5. Production was -5.3% lower than in March 2018. Sawmills shipped 5,145.1 thousand cubic metres of lumber in March, up +15.7% from February and -2.1% lower than in March 2018. Canada exported -13% less lumber to the world in March 2019 compared to February, said Statistics Canada Tuesday. Lumber exports to the US were down…

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US Housing Starts: May 2019

US Housing Starts: May 2019

Total housing starts in the US posted a -0.9% decrease in May, to 1.269 million units, compared to an upwardly revised April estimate of 1.281 million units, according to the joint data release Tuesday from the US Census Bureau and HUD.Relative to May 2018, total starts are -4.7% below the annual pace of 1.332 million units.  Single-family production in May posted a monthly decline, decreasing -6.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 820,000. Single-family starts in April were revised up…

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Softwood Lumber Sales Explode on More Major Sawmill Curtailments

Softwood Lumber Sales Explode on More Major Sawmill Curtailments

After inexplicably wallowing in the doldrums for 2019 so far, North America wholesaler softwood dimension lumber prices reversed spectacularly last week. US housing starts for May, released Tuesday morning, were relatively stable compared to April. Potentially helpful to players seeking understanding of current market conditions, prices quoted for the July contract of softwood lumber futures on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange crested over US$400 mfbm on Tuesday. Currently futures are at a $25 premium to cash (print) prices.Benchmark North American construction…

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CoreLogic US Homeowner Equity Insights: 1Q 2019

CoreLogic US Homeowner Equity Insights: 1Q 2019

According to CoreLogic’s US Home Equity Report, released Monday, only about 4.1% of homeowners with mortgaged properties, which represent about 63% of all US homes, were underwater as of the end of 1Q 2019. In 1Q 2019, the total number of US mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased -1% from 4Q 2018 to 2.2 million homes, or 4.1% of all mortgaged properties. On a year-over-year basis, negative equity fell -11% from 2.5 million homes, or 4.7% of all mortgaged properties,…

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Softwood Lumber Supply-and-Demand Corrects On Further Sawmill Curtailments

Softwood Lumber Supply-and-Demand Corrects On Further Sawmill Curtailments

The latest announcement of major sawmill curtailments Monday, this time with Canfor making production cuts at all its facilities, caused a complete reversal of lumber futures prices on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange. It will be very interesting to see what happens with cash prices this week. Madison’s Lumber Reporter print is Friday mornings; this week prices are likely to at least stop falling if not to actually increase. The latest North America sawmill capacity utilization rates, for March, released by…

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

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

The latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track, for January-March 2019, shows a +0.4% increase in US softwood lumber production volume, to 8,634 mmfbm. January – March softwood lumber production in Canada continued dropping by -8.6%, to 6,382 mmfbm, compared to the first three months of 2018 when it was 6,985 mmfbm. In British Columbia, lumber production continued significant reductions begun around 2017, in Jan – March plunging another -14.7 per cent, to 2,684 mmfbm, from…

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