Forest2Market Monthly News

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Lumber prices have surged in recent weeks. Will prices follow the same trend as 2018?
What’s Driving Forest Industry Growth in the US South?

By Daniel Stuber
As I wrote in the first installment of this blog series, it’s nearly impossible to overstate the impacts that the Great Recession of 2008 had on the North American forest products industry. The sudden plunge of the housing sector had cascading effects that immediately influenced the entire global economy.

SYP Lumber Prices Plummet, Then Rebound in March

By John Greene
Southern yellow pine (SYP) lumber prices skyrocketed in February, prompting us to ask the obvious question at the time: Will history repeat itself, and will prices reach record highs for a second year in a row? How quickly markets change.

Lumber Demand: What to Expect Over the Next Five Years

By Daniel Stuber
Southern forests have more and larger trees, and sawtimber prices in the region are virtually unchanged since 2007. There are signs that things are beginning to change, however. With forecasted slow, steady increases in housing starts and increased sawmilling activity across the South, what does the future for lumber look like?

Correlating Rainfall & Timber Prices: What Does the Data Say?

By John Greene
Performing routine and detailed precipitation analyses can be a good additional way to monitor the directional price of timber products in a specific wood basin. While precipitation data is not a substitute for a comprehensive price forecast, which accounts for the macro and microeconomic indicators that will also affect regional prices, it does address the “accessibility” factor that impacts harvest levels in many instances, and can therefore be used to gauge the feasibility of harvests over a period of time.

Identifying Opportunities to Increase Lumber Selling Values

By Bryan Beck
When it comes to average lumber selling value (“sales average”) at a sawmill, the two biggest drivers are the mix of product sizes being manufactured and the grade yield or mix of different grades.

Improved Lumber Recovery at New Southern Yellow Pine Sawmills

By Roy Anderson
Technological advancements in log scanning and positioning relative to saws have led to the steady improvement in lumber recovery (yield) at southern yellow pine (SYP) sawmills over time. While the upward trend slowed when capital spending slowed dramatically during the industry’s lean years (2007-2011), we should expect the latest round of investments in new and upgraded mills to provide another jolt of improved yield levels for the SYP industry.

Brazilian Exports of Eucalyptus Logs & Chips Soar in 2018

By Marcelo Schmid
Global log trade flows have undergone some changes in the last year due to tariffs and trade tensions—primarily between the US and China—and this dynamic has boosted log exports from Brazil. In 2018, eucalyptus log exports neared 234,000 tons, which is an increase of 122% over 2017 exports.

US Housing Starts Skyrocket in January, Lose Ground in February

By John Greene
US housing starts skyrocketed in January, increasing more than expected as construction of single-family housing rallied after four straight months of declines. However, the gain was short-lived; February starts then fell more than expected as single-family builds dropped to an 18-month low. But with mortgage rates inching down and other economic indicators holding steady, the outlook for the housing market is improving as we head into the meat of the building and buying season.

US Forest Industry Performance: February 2019

By Joe Clark
Total industrial production (IP) decreased 0.6 percent (+3.8 percent YoY) in January—the first decline in eight months—after December’s 0.1 percent uptick (originally +0.3 percent). Manufacturing production fell 0.9 percent in January, primarily as a result of a large drop in motor vehicle assemblies; factory output excluding motor vehicles and parts decreased 0.2 percent.

Labor Market Metrics: 2019 off to a Strong Start

By Forest2Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) establishment survey, non-farm payroll employment rose at a blistering pace of 304,000 jobs in January—nearly double expectations of +158,000. In a less-positive move, combined November and December employment gains were revised down by 70,000 (December’s -90,000 was the largest monthly revision since 2010). Meanwhile, the unemployment rate (based upon the BLS’s household survey) ticked up to 4.0 percent under the influence of new/re-entrants to the labor force and impacts on private-sector employment stemming from the partial government shutdown.