Lake States Business Trends – April 2022

Share this...

Lumber providers in the Lake States report that the Hardwood lumber markets there are good.

“Everything’s pretty good,” stated a lumberman in Wisconsin. “The Hardwoods we deal with are all moving as fast as I can produce it and/or dry it. The exception is Select and Better Cherry, which is kind of a dog.”

The market for him is “as good” as it was six months earlier, he stated. He offers Red and White Oak, Hard and Soft Maple, Hickory, Cherry, Basswood and Aspen. His best sellers are the Maples, Basswood, Aspen and White Oak. He offers all grades, mostly in 4/4.

He sells his lumber more to end users, but also to distribution yards. “My customers’ sales are fantastic, and they would have more sales if they could get more employees,” he remarked.

Domestically, transportation isn’t a problem, he said. However, export containers are hard to come by. Regarding personnel, he said, “We’re getting by, but we could use more employees if we could find them.”

At a Michigan sawmill, a source said their company is “quite busy in general, especially busy bringing in logs. Production is good; shipments are good. However, most species are hand-to-mouth. On the bright side, the ground is frozen but there’s not a lot of snow on the ground, which is excellent for logging.”

Compared to six months back, he stated, his market “seems like it’s a little better.”

He handles Hard and Soft Maple, Red and White Oak, Hickory, Cherry, Walnut, Basswood and a little bit of Poplar. Hard and Soft Maple and White Oak, in all grades, are his best sellers.

His customers are divided 50-50 between distribution yards and end users. “Everybody I talk to says they’re busy. Sales are good. Everybody says the same thing: the workforce and transportation are problems. The availability of transportation is OK, but the costs are up. Also, finding employees is the biggest challenge people are facing.”

An Indiana lumber provider stated, “I’d say the market is strong. Everything seems pretty solid. Logs are good. Kiln-dried lumber is moving. The only dog we have right now is Cherry, but it’s trickling out of here.”

Compared to several months earlier, he remarked, “It’s pretty similar. If trucks would start showing up, we’d be better off.”

He provides Red and White Oak, Walnut, Hard and Soft Maple, Cherry, Hickory, Basswood, Ash and Grey Elm, with most species in 4/4 through 8/4 and some 10/4 to 16/4, and in grades No. 2 Common and Better.

“Distribution yards are our big customers, but we also sell to end users,” he remarked. “From what I hear they are doing pretty well.

“I’d say transportation is probably what is hurting us the most, getting trucks in and getting lumber out of here. As long as trucks start showing up, we’ll be doing a lot better.”

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

Share This
Related Articles
National Hardwood Magazine
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Southeast Business Trends – June 2022

Market trends across the Southeast region remain strong for Hardwood lumber sales, as some sawmills are taking steps to stave off potential profit loss due

Read More »
National Hardwood Magazine
Miller Wood Trade Publications

West Coast Business Trends – June 2022

On the West Coast, some Hardwood lumber suppliers reported that the market has slowed down, but one lumberman called his sales “robust.” A distribution yard

Read More »