Northeast Trends

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In the Northeast, sales of Hardwood lumber are going well. Some suppliers have enough logs to saw while one lumberman interviewed reported that more logs are being exported, leaving fewer logs for American sawmills.

A Pennsylvania lumber producer stated that sales are “very good” with “plenty of logs.” “The price of green lumber is going up every day, and it’s tough to get trucks,” he noted. “Other than that, everything’s good.” In fact, the market for him is “a lot better” than it was last year.

The main specie of lumber his firm offers is Walnut. He also handles Hard and Soft Maple, Cherry and Red Oak.

The company sells its products to distribution yards, end use manufacturers, flooring companies and wholesalers in Canada. These customers report that the sales of their products are going well. “Prices of lumber are going up weekly and customers seem to be absorbing them and are still buying, so I guess their sales are fine,” the lumber provider said.

Transportation is an issue, he stated. “We’re having a hard time getting containers to ship overseas; that’s the main thing,” he remarked. “Trying to keep bookings on time is difficult; we must have 12 to 15 containers sitting here. A lot of it is Walnut.”

Another Pennsylvania lumber manufacturer stated, “Our markets are strong right now, very strong. Sales are going well. I wish we had a lot more inventory right now. There’s no particular slow item we’re seeing. Everything’s moving at a really nice pace. 

“I’ve never seen a market like this where every item is moving well. Every item is strong. I think the slowest moving item that we have out there might be Cherry, but that’s picking up steam right now. 

“There’s not enough wood out there,” he noted. “The number of logs being exported seems to be increasing. Not as many logs are available for sawmills. It’s just really eating into the resource and driving prices up because of lack of available supply.”

Asked how the market compares to six months before, the lumberman replied, “That’s not even a comparison. In August, we looked at our inventory and wondered what to do with it. Now everything is moving. It would have been nice to have a crystal ball in August. We would have a better inventory now. There’s no comparison, the market is so much better. Prices are increasing, and what goes up must come down. I’ve never seen a time when all the species are moving. They’re all moving right now. I don’t know how long this will last. I’m confident it will continue through the second quarter. I don’t know what’s going to happen after that. People are still fixing up their houses because of COVID. This trend may be around for a year. We are in uncharted territory right now.”

This Pennsylvania firm provides all the domestics, including Cherry, Ash, Hard and Soft Maple, Red Oak, Hickory and Yellow Birch in mainly FAS and No. 1 and No. 2 Common. Sales are to distribution yards and end users. Sales to these customers are “going great,” he stated. 

Transportation prices have increased 20 to 30 percent, the Pennsylvania lumber provider noted. “We have a difficult time finding trucks and available drivers,” he added.

In New York State, a source stated, “The marketplace in our area is at a fast pace. Everybody is out buying green lumber, and everybody wants to buy kiln dried lumber. Everything seems to have a lot of activity. Our sales are going well, and our purchasing is going well. 

“I’m a middleman,” he explained. “I buy green lumber and kiln dry it and sell kiln dried. So, it’s either hard to buy and easy to sell or easy to buy and hard to sell. We never get comfortable. But we are doing fine. We are able to buy green lumber. Prices have increased. We’re able to sell kiln dried, and we have increased our prices.”

He sells Red and White Oak, Hard and Soft Maple and Cherry to end users and distribution yards. 

Lack of containers and room on ships going to China and a lack of truckers are problems, he said.

A Maryland lumberman said his sales are “great – on a scale of 1 to 10, an 8.” These sales are “better,” he observed, than six months earlier.

He provides all Appalachian Hardwoods in all grades. Best sellers are Maple, Poplar and Oak.

Domestically, he sells mainly to distribution yards. In exports, he sells to distribution yards and end users. His customers’ businesses are doing well, he noted.

Concerning transportation, “We’re having vessel space issues and difficulty getting trucks,” he observed. 

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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