After taking a week off from reporting, we can report continuing active movement in the lumber markets for the key species of interest.  Domestic demand for hardwood lumber has been steadily increasing for most species, and reports are that this year’s sales may eclipse those of last year.  Log yard inventories are generally low (mostly due to wet weather conditions), and some sawmills are in dire straits with log supply.  International demand remains strong as well, with China once again leading the pack.  Besides cherry and ash, the Chinese markets for walnut are also increasing, leading to an indication that the preference for darker woods is gaining traction in Asia.  There has also been an increase in demand for ash, white oak and red oak from Europe.  Millwork and moulding plants have seen good and steady demand as of late, and even pallet wood was moving better than it had been earlier this year.

Some mills in the Appalachian region have been on the short side of supply for weeks, as the wet weather curtailed harvest removals.  Short supply on the log side coupled with increased demand on the lumber side have increased the prices paid for both stumpage and lumber.  Though the weekly reports showed a steadying of red oak lumber prices, both red and white oak demand is robust.  The Chinese markets are continuing to look for cherry, ash, hickory and red oak, and prices for the lesser quality (4/4 common) lumber are now experiencing demand pressures and subsequent increases on a consistent basis.  Hard maple remains attractive, even now in the summer months, and some manufacturers are switching out hard maple for soft maple.  (Weekly Hardwood Review)

General lumber market comments/trends in the Appalachian Hardwoods region:

Black cherry: + 19.7% (since Jan 6th 2017)

Hard (sugar) maple: 4.4% (since Jan 6th 2017)

Red oak; -0.6% (since Jan 6th 2017)

White ash; +13.0% (since Jan 6th 2017)

Soft maple; 0.0% (since Jan 6th 2017)


Perspective and % Changes are measured using data from January 6, 2017 to July 14, 2017

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