Lake States Business Trends – July 2022

Share this...

The Hardwood lumber markets in the Lake States region are either “very good” or “pretty good.” Either way you look at the situation, the markets are good.

A sawmill representative in Indiana said, “The market is pretty good. It’s been a struggle to get logs, and FAS and Better Red Oak is tougher to move.”

In six months, the market “hasn’t really changed that much.”

He sells Red Oak, Poplar, Hickory, Ash and Cherry and others. His sawmill dries all its No. 2 Common and Better. Thicknesses are primarily 4/4.

He sells to distribution yards and end users “It seems like all my customers I talk to, their sales are really good.

“Transportation has always been a problem,” he stated. “The cost of fuel is a problem. Getting containers also is difficult. It’s hard to find people to haul freight. Transportation is a struggle.”

A lumberman in Wisconsin was more upbeat. He called his market “very steady. My lumber sales are good, and I can’t think of anything that is slow right now.”

Compared to a few months earlier, he said, the market is “about the same.”

He handles Red and White Oak, Hard and Soft Maple, Basswood and a few others. His best sellers are the Maples in No. 3 and Better, mostly 4/4.

He sells mostly to end users who manufacture flooring, cabinets, doors and trim. “As far as I can tell, everyone I talk to is plenty busy,” he stated. “They’d be more busy if they could get more help.”

He said transportation wasn’t a problem for him, “but if I start exporting a fair amount, containers are hard to come by,” he observed. Domestic transport by truck is not a problem for him. “The only spot where trucking is bad for me is the containers. The cost is up but we’ve got so many regular truckers we’ve been working with, and as long as we go up in what we pay, they seem to come. They haven’t been unreasonable with their rate increases. The price of fuel is going up; the truckers have to go up.”

A Michigan lumber representative also was upbeat. “The market is very stable,” he stated. “Just about all my lumber in all grades is moving very well. I am starting to see a little bit of resistance, where the warehouses are filling up a little bit. Six months ago, they were calling me. Now I have to call them.”

He sells all grades of Hard and Soft Maple, Basswood, Birch and Ash mainly in 4/4.

His customers are distribution yards. Their sales are good, he said.

“Transportation is a problem,” he said. “It’s becoming a big problem. You can’t find anybody to haul your lumber and their prices are outrageous, and you can’t blame them. The price of fuel has increased. Some of them are dropping out and saying the heck with it.”

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

Share This
Related Articles