Midwest Business Trends

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Midwest Business Trends 1
Paul Miller Jr.
Vice President

By Paul Miller Jr.
Vice President

Throughout the Midwest region lumber suppliers noted that their sales were doing well and that their markets were active, at the time of this writing.

In South Dakota, a lumber spokesman said, “Our markets are active right now. I think that this is due to the warming temperatures after it being so cold for a few weeks.” He also said that they are doing better than they were six months ago.

His company offers Ponderosa Pine boards. “All of our boards are 3/4 and 1 inch thick and we carry those in grades Nos. 2, 3 and 4 Common,” he added.

He sells to distribution yards and mentioned that they have said their sales are starting to pick up and it has reflected in their orders.

“Right now I think that everyone is optimistic,” he stated. “As we get further into the year people are getting used to the interest rates being at six to seven percentage points instead of two to three, and so we will continue to see better business and more activity the more that this sinks in.”

A lumberman in Iowa said that while his market is strong right now, it isn’t doing as well as it was six months ago.

“We carry mainly Pine and some Cedar,” he remarked. They offer these species in Common grades, No. 2 and Better and some Clear, and in 1x and 5/4 thickness.

“We sell to a mixture of customers, some Do-It-Yourselfers and to the contractor base,” he said. “The contractors are all busy right now and they are booking themselves up.”

When asked how he thinks the market is going to look over the next several months, he said, “I am hoping that the market stays strong; we are optimistic that it will. With the amount of quoting that we have done recently it seems to be an indication that we have a good opportunity for that to be the case.”

In Texas a lumberwoman said that her sales have been firming up, but expects that as the weather changes, with more rain expected, that there will be another lull in her sales. She did note that her sales are worse than they were six months ago but accredits this to the time of the year.

Her company offers Southern Yellow Pine in grades Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 Common and in a MSR2400, all in 2×4.
She noted that she is currently selling to builders, treaters, wholesalers and pallet manufacturers.

“It feels like we are getting back into the pre-COVID market. The wholesalers that I sell to have the same billing and a lot of my sales representatives feel like they have a pretty good spring coming, which is helpful.”

By Paul Miller

Paul Miller President Miller Wood Trade Publications

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