Lumber suppliers in the Northeast are still reporting a strong market – one of whom described it as “red hot.”
A source in Pennsylvania stated that despite the market for Hardwood in his area standing “quite strong,” kiln-dried and green material are still “relatively undersupplied.” Compared to six months ago, he said that supply is getting “a little better.”
This provider’s company offers Hard and Soft Maple, Cherry, Ash, Red and White Oak, and its main product – Poplar. He added that White Oak is currently the species in highest demand for the company’s varied customer base of end user manufacturers, distributors, and resellers.
“They’ve been saying how hard it is to find material for some time now,” he said. “Like I said, I think it’s getting a little bit more available than what it was, so we’ll see how that develops over the summer. It’ll be interesting, really.”
This source has experienced issues with trucking throughout the year, but he said “at the moment, it might be slightly better.” Ease of transportation appears to fluctuate with no definite trend.
In New York, a source reported that market trends have been “about the same” as they were six months ago, with “pretty good” sales. His company sells Red and White Oak in One Face and Better, No. 1 Common and No. 2 Common, mostly to distributors.
Transportation issues have subsided for this provider because of a lot of determination. “We don’t take no for an answer. Someone tells us no, we keep on looking,” he explained. He believes that trucking prices are at their peak, and does not see them going up much higher.
“Red hot” is how a contact in New Hampshire described the market in his area. “It hasn’t slowed down since November,” he said. “Everyone’s out of everything. None of our sawmills have much in back inventory.”
Before the Hardwood market became this strong, his company had no problem building inventory with logs ranging from 10 to 16 feet. “Now, we get what we get,” he said.
This source’s company provides upper-grade lumber in FAS or Better, including quartered-rift White Oak, plain-sawn White Oak, and quartered-rift Poplar, with Poplar being the “number one.” “We sell to architectural millwork firms and retail Hardwood lumber yards,” he stated.
Trucking is currently a “huge challenge” for this lumber supplier. “The cost has doubled for freight in two years,” he explained. “As we call it in the industry, watermelon season is just now getting started. Once you have perishable freight, we could have a load of Cypress coming out of North Carolina and it’s all set to go, and that trucker will get a call from someone who wants to ship ‘watermelons,’ and they’ll pay more money and we’ll lose the load.”