Midwest Business Trends

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Midwest Business Trends 1
By Paul Miller Vice President

Lumber sources that we spoke with in the Midwest region were a bit of a mixed bag as to how their markets were, with only one source stating that his sales have remained stable.

A lumber supplier in Missouri said that his market- place is slow at the time of this writing. “The housing market has slowed down, and while we don’t sell a lot into the housing market, we do sell to the remanufacturers and end-use manufacturers that sell into it.” He added that his sales are worse than they were six months ago, when asked.

His company offers Spruce-Pine-Fir and Southern Yellow Pine in all grades and thicknesses.

He noted that the manufacturers and the end-use manufacturers that he sells to have noticed that their sales have also slowed down.

In Texas a lumber spokeswoman said that her market is slow. “Our sales are slow right now due to the high interest rates and the general state of the economy,” she added.

When asked if her sales are better worse than they were six months ago, she said that they are worse.

Her company offers Southern Yellow Pine in 1-inch boards and in thicknesses of 1×4-1×8 and in all grades, adding that they specialize in pattern stock lumber.

“I only sell to brokers, and from the way that they are placing orders I can tell that they are also slow due to interest rates,” she said when asked if she has heard any comments from her customers.

She mentioned that in order for her company to begin to thrive in the market again they will need to see interest rates drop. “My customers aren’t able to continue with their regular purchasing practices. They are only buying what they need and nothing more, they have no room to stock their inventories.”

She mentioned that her company is having to sell lumber under the market price just so they can move inventory.

A sawyer in South Dakota said that his market is starting to look stable. “I think that we are gaining this sense of stability as the weather changes,” he added.

His company offers Engelman Spruce Lodgepole Pine, Hemlock Fir, Spruce-Pine-Fir and Cedar. “We offer Engelman Spruce Lodgepole Pine in 1x’s, Hemlock Fir and Spruce-Pine-Fir in 2x’s and we offer Cedar in 1x’s and 2x’s,” he noted.

When asked which of the species that he offers is selling the best, he said that Cedar seems to be continuing to do well.

He stated that he sells to lumber yards, when asked what types of customers he sells to. “A lot of my customers are waiting for sales to kick off. I’m not sure what it is going to take for their sales to kick off since we are already in the middle of summer,” he said, adding that it seems that everything is slower to get started.

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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