Lumber prices down in April
May 28, 2014 - The Forest Products Index declined by 2.4% m/m in April (-4.8% yr/yr), according to the Scotiabank Commodity Price Index. Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2x4 lumber prices lost ground from US$363 per mfbm in March to US$338 in April, though prices have picked up to US$347 in late May.
U.S. housing starts rebounded to 1.072 million units annualized in April, after being checked by severe weather conditions in early 2014 (0.924 million in Q1). Lumber inventories were built up at mills in 2014:Q1, but have now fallen below a year earlier. A strong summer rally is expected in lumber prices, with rail & trucking constraints adding to upward price pressure.
NBSK pulp prices held at a stellar US$1,030 per tonne in April and May (near the record US$1,035 of June 2011), but could be peaking.