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U.S. & Canada lumber and panel market weekly reports

North American softwood lumber prices fall more slowly
[April 23, 2020]


Lumber and panel market weekly report ---- Week 15,  2020
By Madison's Lumber Reporter

In contrast to the sharp plummets of recent weeks, most North American construction framing dimension softwood lumber prices either remained steady or dropped by smaller increments last week as distributors had decent demand from end-users. Supply remained limited to tight, and sawmills held firm on price lists from the previous week as their order files grew out to almost two weeks, as Madison’s Lumber Reporter announced.

Prolific reductions in sawmill operations across the North American continent had the effect of stabilizing the lumber market further. Deep price corrections and significant counters began to evaporate as supply started to fall behind anaemic demand. Purveyors of Western S-P-F in the United States reported slow demand from the construction sector; but with reduced overall production volumes it was enough to get by.

In week ending April 16, 2020, benchmark Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2x4 prices were US$316 mfbm, up +$6, or +2%, from the previous week. Last week's price was down -$90, or -22%, from one month ago. Compared to one year ago, this price is down -$20, or -6%.



Meanwhile at the delivery hub of the ports in New Jersey, eastern stocking wholesalers were grateful to have another week in the books considering the health crisis occupying the wider world. While no one was buying full trucks of anything, vendors were kept busy with lots of small orders from pokey customers. Buyers needed ‘a little of this and a little of that’, so deliveries were commonly confined to a few split loads per day. Improving weather along the Eastern Seaboard would usually kick-start construction at this time of year, but jobsites remained muted for the most part.

The below table is a comparison of recent highs, in June 2018, and current April 2020 benchmark dimension softwood lumber 2x4 prices compared to historical highs of 2004/05, and compared to recent lows of Sept 2015:



Both supply and demand stumbled again last week according to Eastern Canadian lumber purveyors. Buyers were apparently active early in the week, mostly probing the wholesale community for any remaining loads selling below replacement — Madison’s Lumber Reporter
 
Last week’s Western S-P-F 24 prices is down -$66, or -18 per cent, relative to the 1-year rolling average price of USD$376 mfbm and is down -$109, or -26 per cent relative to the 2-year rolling average price of USD$419 mfbm.

The below table is a comparison of recent highs, in June 2018, and current April 2020 benchmark dimension softwood lumber 24 prices compared to historical highs of 2004/05, and compared to recent lows of Sept 2015:

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