Lumber Prices Sharply Reverse Recent Increases, Inventories Grow

Both producers and secondaries now have more plump inventories than most of this year, making assessments of their own price lists somewhat easier. Buyers, well aware of this, are pushing back at sawmills with significant counter-offers. Those suppliers in a position to negotiate are accepting customer demands. Prices are responding toward accordingly.

This week and next, a lot of Quebec is on seasonal holidays, and there are forest fires in British Columbia so the ongoing very lean log supply situation could again become a problem soon.

SOURCE: Madison’s Lumber Reporter

Current Softwood Lumber Prices Compared to Recent and Historical Highs

Prices dropped significantly as the Canadian and US softwood lumber market adjusted to having new information about manufactured wood inventory throughout the supply chain, and being held by both producers and resellers.

Answers to the question of log supply remained murky, and the usual seasonal curtailment in Quebec and wildfires in British Columbia did nothing to help shed light on this important information. The latest US housing starts report was not positive, however single-family construction starts maintained their levels of the previous month.

Given all that, demand for lumber and other construction materials continued unabated, causing many to wonder what that will do to prices over the rest of this summer. Trading of lumber futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did nothing to shed light on the market situation, as has been the case frequently over the past couple of years.

Elsewhere, West Fraser Timber has begun salvage of British Columbia timber burned in the terrible wildfires of 2017, said the Williams Lake Tribune Sunday.

Since May 1, there has been 98,000 cubic metres of burnt timber, mainly Douglas-fir, or 1,687 trucks loads delivered from Bald Mountain near Riske Creek and Slater Mountain just north of Williams Lake, BC, behind West Fraser Sawmill, said the Tribune.

So far the quality of the burned wood has been OK. Because the wood died a year ago, it will get drier and start to crack as it ages.
“Our cutting permits lent themselves to logging in May and early June, which is normally too wet, but the flip side of that is you get into fire season, so we are wrapping things up now as the extreme fire hazard starts coming into those areas out west and here,” said Mark Runge, woods manager for West Fraser in Williams Lake to the Tribune.

About 40 per cent of the burned wood has been trucked to West Fraser mills in 100 Mile House and Chasm, BC.
West Fraser received two permits to cut approximately 227,000 cubic metres total of the burned wood.

Aside from harvesting, the company is also replanting seedlings at Bald Mountain.

SOURCE: Madison’s Lumber Reporter