Southeast Business Trends – July 2024

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Throughout the Southeast region, the reviews were mixed as to how the market was faring. Some sources said that the market was very challenging, while others said that it was just slightly better.

In Arkansas, a lumber salesperson said that his market seemed to be improving. “It’s fairly soft for Hardwood lumber. Your usual customers buy. However, there’s not many phone calls or selling to anybody that you haven’t sold to for years,” he claimed. He noted that his company is doing a “little better” than it was six months ago and that it is, “probably just a seasonal thing.”

His company handles kiln-dried Red and White Oak in 4/4 thickness and that the Red Oak sells in grades of FAS, No. 1 Common and No. 2 Common. He said that “there’s not much of a demand for grade wood like Red Oak,” in addition to stating that, “White Oak is hot. Everybody knows White Oak is hot but that’s just because there’s a limited volume of it.” He also remarked that, “Red Oak is flat, and it doesn’t matter the grade.”

His company sells to “distribution yards and end use manufacturers that make appearance grade products,” he stated. However, he reiterated that grade lumber demand is soft for his company.

A lumber spokesperson in Tennessee claimed that “it’s definitely been better,” and that he would “put it as just slightly above poor.” When asked to compare the time of this interview to the market six months ago, he said that it’s “definitely worse.”

His company handles Red and White Oak, Hard Maple, Poplar, and Ash. He explained that, “White Oak of course is probably the best-selling item with Hard Maple shortly behind it. Red Oak and Poplar seems to do pretty good, and Ash is moving fairly decently. The upper grades as well as FAS and Better are definitely moving better. Off species also seem to be moving better. The Common in the Hard Maple has picked up just recently.”

He said that his company sells to end use manufacturers such as flooring and furniture companies as well as distribution centers and exporters. When asked if his customers had offered any of their own comments on the market, he said that “a lot of them seem to say the same thing. There’s not a ton of demand right now. Supply pretty much outweighs demand. Now, that has changed just a little bit recently. Seems like the demand has caught supply a bit, but still looking for this summer to be more supply than demand.”

In Alabama, a lumber spokesperson said that the current market was unsatisfactory and that it was “still the same” as it was six months ago.

His company handles White and Red Oak in all grades, mentioning that Red Oak FAS was “doing okay,” and that “Red No. 1 Common and No. 2A Common are the worst.” The White Oak for his company is selling the best and they cut the lumber in thicknesses of 4/4 and 5/4.

When asked who he sells to, he responded with, “international and domestic.” He also believes that “everybody’s business is off,” when it comes to comments from his customers regarding the market for their products.

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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