Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join NWPCA
Industry Thought Leaders-General Topics
Blog Home All Blogs
Industry experts discuss various topics of interest to the wood packaging industry. Learn what these thought leaders have to say on several issues, and share your comments.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: pallet  market  industry  lumber  mulch  recycle  renewable  supply  wood  business  Canada  Costco  crating  custom  energy  engineered  environment  fasteners  forestry  global  green  housing  prediction  research  reuse  softwood  technology  tools  upcycle 

Lumber Commentary

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 23, 2015

By Todd Askew, Mill Sales Biewer Lumber

Over the past 7-8 years, Biewer Lumber has seen significant changes in the softwood market that have greatly impacted the landscape from a buying perspective. Operating four sawmills right in the heart of red pine country—two Michigan mills and two in Wisconsin – Todd Askew, mill sales at Biewer Lumber, identifies two key factors that are impacting the market:

1) Offshore business is important, but not as much as domestic demand.

  • Overseas destinations, China most importantly, have a great impact on the market.
  • Softwood lumber exports are down through 2015 Q1.
  • Domestic housing starts are expected to top 1 million units, a level that should be able to support more available material.
  • The slow start to housing in 2015 was largely weather driven; pent up demand should sustain the market well into the fall.

2) The Canadian/US Exchange rate has encouraged US buyers to import, but this could change.

  • Canadian softwood manufacturers have been getting a better return by shipping to the US because of the 120+% exchange rate.
  • The “Softwood Lumber Agreement” between the two countries is applying a tax on Canadian shipments, payable by the mills.
  • So far the advantageous exchange rate has outweighed any applied tax.
  • The tax is likely to increase. It is based on a rolling average of the Random Lengths Composite Price. In 2015, expect to see the tax be brought up to its maximum level.
  • Some Canadian producers may see a reduced return in shipping the US because of this.

(written for PalletCentral July-August 2015)

Tags:  Canada  housing  lumber  softwood  supply 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)