Lumber sources throughout the Southeast region are a mixed bag, with comments ranging from the market has improved to sales have slowed down.
In Tennessee a sawmill representative said that his market has improved, at the time of this writing. “We are doing better than we were six months ago. I think this is due to supply being down and the demand starting to pick up.”
His company offers Ash, Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Hickory, Poplar and Red and White Oak in grades FACE, Nos. 1, 2 and 3A Common. “We are able to offer our Poplar in 4-6/4 thicknesses and White Oak in 4/4 and 6/4 thicknesses, while we offer everything else in 4/4 thickness,” he added.
He also mentioned that White Oak has been a hot item for his company.
His company sells to flooring companies, moulding and trim manufacturers, distribution centers and furniture manufacturers, as well as American exporters. “It seems that the U.S. and domestic business is fairly firm, while exports into Asia have been slow. Exports to Europe have been stronger than they have been to Asia lately,” he noted.
He mentioned that the labor shortage continues to affect his company to an extent.
In Alabama a lumber spokesperson said his White Oak sales have been doing well and Ash seems to be holding its own, while his Red Oak and Poplar sales are not doing as well.
When asked if his sales were better than they were six months ago he mentioned that they might be doing a touch better than they were.
The four main species that his company offers are Red and White Oak, Poplar and Ash in grades FAS Common and No. 2A Common and in thicknesses of 4/4 and 5/4.
“We are worldwide, we sell into the international and the domestic markets,” he said. “Vietnam and China have both really slowed down and we aren’t hearing good things about either country.” He also mentioned that the domestic market wasn’t doing well, at the time of this writing.
“We are just hanging in there and hoping that the market gets better,” he added.
A lumber representative in Arkansas said that his sales have been sporadic. “There is definitely less production and there are less opportunities for orders,” he remarked. “It seems that there are less people that want to haul hardwood logs and both green and kiln-dried lumber production have slowed down.”
He mentioned that his sales are doing about the same as they were six months ago when asked.
His company offers primarily all hardwood species, with a focus on Oak and mixed hardwoods. “We offer grades FAS Common and No. 2 Common and 4/4 and 5/4 thicknesses,” he said.
His company sells to end use manufacturers, distribution yards and exporters. “It seems that they are also experiencing sporadic sales,” he said. “They will have a couple of good days and then they have a few days where there isn’t a lot happening.”