Southeast Business Trends

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Nick Mancini

Across the Southeast region, lumber sources said that their markets are fair and that at the time of this writing, sales were slowing down some.

In Mississippi a lumberman said that while his sales are currently feeling weak, the market overall has been fair.

“Our sales are pretty weak right now, but I think interest rates are starting to come into play more and more. Consumer confidence is down, and people are more cautious.”

He mentioned that while they are not doing as well as they were six months ago, it is not by much. “We are going to see more of a change over the next six months than we did over the past six months,” he added.

His company only offers Southern Yellow Pine in all grades, handling primarily boards and timbers.

He noted that he sells to treaters, building suppliers and contractor yards. When asked if they have recently shared how their sales are doing, he said, “They seem to be seeing fewer sales.”

He added that he believes that going forward the market is going to be tighter for a while. “We are coming off some of the lowest numbers that we have seen in quite a while,” he said. “We have already put floor prices on our products, and we will do it again if we have to.”

In Alabama a lumber spokeswoman said that their sales have been doing well the past few weeks.

“I haven’t had any problems moving my inventory, but it does seem like my sales are starting to slow down. I think people are nervous about buying lumber right now, so they are buying on a need-to-basis,” she added.

She noted that they are doing a little better than they were six months ago, but added that it was nothing to brag about.

Her company offers Southern Yellow Pine in grades Prime, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in thicknesses of 2×4, 2×6, 3×4 and 4×4. They also offer PET material. She mentioned that they only run timbers when they are producing PET material, but that they run 2×4 and 2×6 on a regular basis.

She said that they sell to treaters, truss and pallet manufacturers and wholesalers. “Most of the people that I have talked to recently have said that their sales are somewhat improved but they are not sure how long it will last.”

She added that she is looking forward to the market stabilizing, “Whether it is up or down, I’m ready for a stable market so we are able to plan accordingly.”

In Florida, a lumber saleswoman said her sales have been steady and she has noticed that they have been busier over the course of the past month. While they are slowing down at the time of this writing, they are still steady.

“We are doing better than we were six months ago,” she stated. “It seems that the market in general is doing better overall.”

She said that her company offers Southern Yellow Pine in 1×4 and 2×4 and that they pull grades No. 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as an MSR2850.

“We sell mostly to brokers, very little direct,” she said, adding that they have not mentioned to her how their markets are doing.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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