Midwest Business Trends

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Midwest Business Trends 1
By Paul Miller
Vice President

Lumber suppliers throughout the Midwest region held an air of optimism when asked how their sales were doing at the time of this writing.

In Texas a lumberman said that while his sales are slower than what was predicted his customer base is remaining positive. “Everyone thought that sales were really going to pick up during the first quarter this year, but we didn’t really start to see quotes pick up until the second quarter, now we are just waiting for those quotes to start hitting.”

He added that his company is probably doing just about as well as they were six months ago.

He said that they are able to offer Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. “We offer Douglas Fir in grades No. 1 and Better, green Douglas Fir in 20×20 thickness and in a 40-foot length. We are also able to stock it in No. 1 and Better Center Heart kiln-dried, and in specified lengths and tallies. We offer Cedar in Standard and Better.” He noted while that Douglas Fir is his company’s mainstay, there has been an uptick in orders for long length Cedar. “I believe that this increase in quotes is due to the fact that the long length Cedar hasn’t been as available over the past several years as it is now.”

His customers are retail lumber yards. “While we have had a very wet first quarter a lot of my customers are all trying to remain positive,” he added.

In Missouri a lumber spokesperson said that while their marketplace isn’t great, it is doing well. “I would say that we are meeting expectations. It seems that there is an uptick as we pull out of winter, but again I think that we are just meeting expectations.” He added that they are doing better than they were six months ago.

His company offers green Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and some Spruce-Pine-Fir. They offer Douglas Fir in No. 2 Common and thicknesses 2×6-2×12 and Cedar in everything from 1-inch boards to 6-inch timbers. He said that Douglas Fir is his best seller.

His customers consist of truss manufacturers, pro-contractor yards and big box stores. “Their comments mirror ours. They are saying that their sales are getting better, but sales always seem to get better as we pull out of the winter months,” he said. He did note that a lot of his customers, particularly the ones that make up the production sector continue to have real issues with their labor force.

A lumber salesman in South Dakota said, “Our sales aren’t bad. I think that they would be better if it would stop snowing.” He added that they are doing better than they were six months ago, noting that this spring was a calm one as his customers started to place orders earlier than normal.

His company mainly handles Cedar in Art Knotty and in thicknesses of 6×6, 1x and 2x and in decking and timbers.

His customers are mainly retail lumber yards. “They haven’t really offered any comments as to how their sales are doing, but they seem to have continued to be steady.”

By Paul Miller

Paul Miller President Miller Wood Trade Publications

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By Paul Miller

Paul Miller President Miller Wood Trade Publications

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