Lake States Business Trends

Share this...

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Across the board, sawmills in the Lake States region are reporting “strong” markets with high demand that are keeping lumber suppliers “really busy.” 

In Michigan, one contact explained, “We’ve got a lot of demand, we’re just trying to keep up.” He reported that demand is not as “crazy” as it was two months ago, “but there is good demand on everything.” His company offers Hard and Soft Maple, Red and White Oak, Hickory, Walnut, Cherry, and Poplar. “I’d say the main demand is in Hard Maple and White Oak,” he stated. 

This Michigan supplier sells “50/50” to end users and distribution yards. When asked about what customers are saying about the market for their products, the source explained, “Those guys said they all have a ton of orders,” and “pretty much anyone I talk to is busy.” The lumber supplier said that transportation has been “okay,” with access to flatbeds being easier to obtain than shipping containers. “Containers are a challenge,” he said. “Rates are up, but I think rates are up everywhere in the world.”

A sawmill representative in Wisconsin reported similar market trends. “It doesn’t matter what I saw,” said the contact. “I can sell it.” He explained that turnover is rapid with inventory moving quickly. “In most cases, they’re trying to sell domestically before it even comes out of the kilns,” the source stated. 

Compared to several months ago, this sawmill is seeing a better market. “Six months ago, my market was still very strong, but the prices are better now,” he said. His company is heavy to Red Oak and White Oak, Basswood, Cherry, Hickory, and both Hard and Soft Maple, sawn mostly to 4/4 and 5/4. 

When asked which species are selling best, the source laughed. “It really doesn’t matter, everything sells,” he replied. The sawmill sells mostly to end users, and some distribution yards. “They say their markets are really strong,” he said. “But I’m not going to lie to you. I get calls every week, and they’re trying to feel me out on what I’m hearing.” Transportation is giving this contact some trouble, but “not a lot.” He noted that getting containers is still a problem, however. 

In Indiana, another source reported a strong market for Hardwood sales. “Demand is outpacing production in pretty much anything we produce,” the lumber supplier said. This company is experiencing a better market compared to six months ago, with the contact emphasizing it as “significantly better.” 

His company offers mostly White and Red Oak in all grades, with everything selling well. The sawmill sells to both end users and distribution yards, with “a small amount of export.” The source reported his customers as all being very busy. “The end users, especially if they’re making cabinets, they are having a real hard time getting all the other things to make cabinets,” he said. 

When asked if transportation was affecting his business, the contact replied, “Absolutely.” He observed an increase in domestic trucking prices as well as shortage of truck drivers. Exports have become increasingly difficult to book. He explained that even if he is able to find a booking, the chances are slim for there to actually be an available truck with a driver to get lumber to the port. 

A lumber supplier in Ohio also reported a strong market with high demand in his area. He described the market as “better” than it was in the recent past. His company offers Ash, Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Red and White Oak and Poplar in thicknesses ranging from 4/4 to 16/4. 

The best-sellers for this sawmill are White Oak and Poplar, which are sold to a mix of end users and distribution yards. “We sell to a retail store, and we sell to wholesalers,” the contact stated. Customers ask, “How quickly can we get it?” according to him. The supplier described transportation costs as “double” what they are normally, with a shortage of trucks to take lumber from the yard.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

Share This
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Related Articles
Business Trends
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Lake States Business Trends

Lumber manufacturers in the Lake States region are reporting a steadier market compared to six months ago, but the industry is still busy.  “I think

Read More »
Business Trends
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Northeast Business Trends

Lumber suppliers in the Northeast are still reporting a strong market – one of whom described it as “red hot.”  A source in Pennsylvania stated

Read More »
Business Trends
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Southeast Business Trends

The markets for Hardwood lumber are strong in the Southeast. A lumber provider in Mississippi stated, “Our markets have been outstanding because of the trustworthiness

Read More »
Business Trends
Miller Wood Trade Publications

West Coast Business Trends

On the West Coast, the markets are good, but different factors are presenting problems to lumber providers. According to a wholesaler in California, “I would

Read More »
Business Trends
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Ontario Business Trends

There were the usual slowdowns due to vacation periods and the July 1st Canada Day celebrations over the early part of summer. The province started

Read More »
Business Trends
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Quebec Business Trends

The COVID-19 restrictions across the province are slowly being lifted and businesses are gradually reopening and getting back to a semblance of normal. The economy

Read More »