Southeast Business Trends

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The markets for Hardwood lumber are strong in the Southeast.

A lumber provider in Mississippi stated, “Our markets have been outstanding because of the trustworthiness of the mills we deal with and the trust we have from them. It’s been a great year for us.

“Six months ago was a great month for us,” he continued. “After that, it was good. It’s been pretty steady till now. This month is a little slower than it has been, due to the amount of material available to sell. A lot of people don’t have logs to sell; there’s just not the inventory that there was. Freight of course is an issue. But the biggest thing I see slowing us down is supply.”

He sells the most common Hardwoods from the North, South and Southeast. “We sell from pallet lumber to FAS,” he stated. Selling best are industrial grade lumber and frame stock. 

“I think we’re going to be looking at this market having an adjustment,” he observed. “Prices have climbed as high as they could go, and there’s some push-back now. It just can’t keep going up and up and up. People will say, we just can’t afford that lumber. But we haven’t had that problem yet.”

Customers include end users in flooring, pallet manufacturing, crating, and furniture manufacturing. “Our customers’ markets are strong,” he noted. “The furniture market is good. We’re selling as much or more lumber than we have but at higher prices.”

On the down side, he said, “Transportation’s been a problem all year. This year is the worst year for freight that I’ve seen, including rising costs. But we’ve fought through it.”

A Hardwood flooring manufacturer in Arkansas stated that his market has been “very strong since June of 2020.” Compared to several months ago, he assessed the current market as better.

He handles Red and White Oak in Nos. 1A-3A. His product is sold to distributors. He said “their business is wide open. Nobody can get enough lumber, but there’s a lot of business out there, and there’s been a strong increase in demand.”

The biggest challenge his firm faces is employee availability, “lack of willing participants to join the workforce,” he noted.

In Virginia, a source said her market is good, but there is “some resistance on kiln-dried Red Oak overseas.” Her business is better than it was a few months earlier, she noted. She handles Red and White Oak and Poplar, with White Oak being the best seller. She sells lumber to “mostly distribution yards,” she said. These customers are doing well business-wise, she stated, “as far as I know, because they’re still buying.” Transportation is not a problem for her company at this time.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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