Wood Business

Industry News Markets
Softwood lumber prices continue rising


February 16, 2021
By Madison's Lumber Reporter

In the first week of February, sawmills were taking orders that would not even go on the production line until the beginning of March. This provides good indication that prices are not going to go down anytime soon.

Confusion continued in many quarters as both suppliers and consumers of North America construction framing dimension softwood lumber and panel products were not sure where the market will go this year. As January closed, it started to become more clear that there still was not enough wood in the supply chain to serve ongoing very strong housing activity. As more data came out from the U.S. especially, players were beginning to see a better picture of what U.S. home building and sales would look like in 2021. From all indications, the momentum of increasing demand last year was going to continue likely through this year.

“A strong undercurrent of inquiry and sales persisted even as demand paused for customers to digest previous orders.” — Madison’s Lumber Reporter

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While buyers of U.S. Western S-P-F lumber were noticeably quieter, suppliers unanimously reported that demand was still significantly outstripping supply.

Prices of Canadian Western S-P-F commodities continued their upward trend as producers boosted their asking prices. Buyers took a bit of a pause so sawmills shifted their focus to rail cars, supply of which was steadily worsening.

Following on the upward momentum of the previous week, in the week ending Feb. 4, 2021, the price of benchmark softwood lumber commodity item Western S-P-F KD 2×4 #2&Btr rose another +$20, or +2%, to US$960 mfbm, from $940 the previous week. Last week’s price is +$34 less more than it was one month ago when it was $926.

“Supply of Southern Yellow Pine lumber remained scant and buyers struggled to find material. Scattered reports surfaced of sawmills pricing higher than print levels on some widths which were in short supply. ” — Madison’s Lumber Reporter

Compared to the price one-year-ago, of US$402 mfbm, in the week of Feb. 4, 2021 benchmark softwood lumber item Western S-P-F KD 2×4 #2&Btr was selling for US$960 mfbm which is +558, or +139% more.