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Seller confidence returns as lumber price increases accelerate

September 22, 2021  By Madison's Lumber Reporter

After a big lull in sales and steeply falling lumber prices — albeit from unsustainable highs — for the week ending Sept. 10, 2021, sales volumes improved further and with that lumber prices again increased. As often repeated by Madison’s, Labour Day long weekend provides good indication of whether lumber sales will slow to the end of the year or if there remains life in the market yet. This year, as with last, it is clear by now that strong lumber demand is with us for some months yet, before the usual seasonal slow-down and end to construction activity in winter.

Rising further from gains of the previous week, for the week of September 10, 2021 the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) was US$480 mfbm. This is up by +$50, or +12%, from the previous week when it was $430. Reversing major drops from earlier in the year, that week’s price was up by $33, or +7%, from one month ago when it was $447.

Inventories up and down the chain remained light and created a note of urgency among buyers, who found increasingly limited availability from suppliers as they explored their options.


“Positive momentum and encouraging sales activity developed in most product categories this week.” — Madison’s Lumber Reporter

Sales volumes in the U.S. Western S-P-F market was vigorous as scores of undersupplied buyers came back from their Labour Day reveries, rolled up their sleeves, and got down to business. Any prompt wood that mills had left was gone by midweek .

Canadian Western S-P-F purveyors reported strong demand in the holiday-shortened week as folks settled back into a somewhat normal post-Labour Day pace of work and school. Demand was especially strong in U.S. construction markets.

“Strong inquiry and follow-through from U.S. markets and the Toronto region created considerable momentum in Canadian Eastern S-P-F sales. Sawmills upped their asking prices and got little to no pushback from customers, most of whom saw the tide turning and jumped in to secure more than just near-term needs. Retailers were among the most active purchasers as they worked to secure larger volumes at current prices.” — Madison’s Lumber Reporter

When compared to the same week last year, of $960, the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 for the week of Sept. 10, 2021, was down by -$480, or -50%. Compared to two years’ ago when it was $376, that week’s price was up by +$104, or +28%.

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