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U.S. lumber demand lags

May 26, 2014 - U.S. lumber demand has not been growing as forecast, due mainly to a lacklustre housing market. While April starts broke through the 1-million mark (1.07 million) for the third time in six months, single-family building remains the issue: stuck at 590,000–650,000 units since late 2012 — with the exception of November (710,000) and December (675,000) — with the first four months of 2014 at 583,000–654,000.

In contrast, for the 14-year period 1994–2007, U.S. single-family housing starts surpassed 1 million units each month. Without a significant pickup, lumber markets could become oversupplied by the wave of new capacity additions and/or shifts now coming on-stream in North America.

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