It’s been quite a year so far; no shortage of news, and no shortage of activity in our hardwood markets. Inflation, the Russia-Ukraine War (and associated sanctions), the cost of fuel, continued supply chain issues and a myriad of other circumstances directly and indirectly affect our local as well as national economy, and certainly it all has its impacts on our hardwood markets.
Despite these significant “challenges”, we continue to read about as well as directly see how active and robust our hardwood markets are. While we’ve lost ground on exports to China, other Asian, European and North American countries have increased their demand, as have our domestic consumers. Housing starts generally remained strong, with significant increases in the Northeast as well as the south. Furniture, flooring, moulding, and cabinetry manufacturers have been quite busy, though many have suffered slowdowns in finishing production runs due to difficulties in getting hardware components.
The maples (hard & soft) continue to bring excellent prices, with soft maple lumber (4/4 #1 Common) up 66% from a year ago, hard maple up 45%, basswood up 54%, ash up 51%, and white oak up 39%. Though not as robust an increase as these, lumber prices for other species have all increased as well; hickory is up 36%, poplar is up 19%, red oak and cherry are each up 6%. Recent reports state that cherry pricing is firming, and in fact, the price for 4/4 #1 Common cherry has been remained consistent since mid-November 2021.
The chart below presents lumber price changes by species over the period of April 2, 2021 through April 1, 2022 in terms of percent change versus actual quoted dollars. Since actual pricing can vary slightly from one reporting source to another, we feel this is the best way to illustrate what the market is doing over time.
Bid sale activity remains active and the sales of high-quality timber continue to bring good results. If you are interested in selling your timber, or just have questions about the process or even where to start, don’t hesitate to give our foresters a call. As in the past, we thank you for your patience as the demand for timber sales services continues to be quite high!