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Southern Comments

#2A&3A OAK

Demand for solid wood residential and truck trailer flooring is strong and is outpacing suppliers’ ability to meet the market’s needs. Lack of labor is one issue constraining production, but lack of ready to use raw materials is hampering efforts, as well. Buyers are working to boost green #2A&3A Oak purchases. Those efforts have been successful to a degree, though secondary manufacturers could use more. Competition for developing supplies has driven prices higher, but past increases have the green #2A&3A Red and White Oak listings in order for now.

RED OAK

Domestic and international sales of Red Oak are strong. Most suppliers indicate order files are full, and in cases, vendors are oversold on selective grades and thicknesses. Transactions point out higher numbers that raise the kiln dried 4/4 and 5/4 #2A&Btr listings and ranges. Sawmill production of Red Oak is improving, though at best, developing supplies are only marginally sufficient to satisfy buyers’ needs. Previous changes have the common grade numbers in order for now, but the Fas&1f listings advance $20 for 4/4 and move up $15 for 5/4 through 8/4.

WHITE OAK

The rapid rise in kiln dried White Oak prices is occurring because of strong domestic and global demand combined with severe shortages. This week’s data show continued price gains that raise the kiln dried 4/4 and 5/4 #2A&Btr listings and most of the ranges. Markets for green stocks are strong, too. Pricing has increased significantly over time, though information holds the green #3A&Btr figures in check this week.

POPLAR

Area mills indicate Poplar log decks are not very high, but they are focusing production on Oak ahead of Poplar to the extent possible. Limited availability and strong demand are pushing green lumber prices up. The listings for all published grades and thicknesses are raised, with Fas&1f advancing $15 and #1C, #2A, and #2B up $10. Because green Poplar output has been controlled for an extended period of time and demand is solid, kiln dried inventories are low. Reported prices lift all of the kiln dried listings and ranges.

FRAMESTOCK, CANTS, TIES, & BOARD ROAD

Weather conditions have been less than ideal for air drying lumber. Too, total lumber production has been low, restricting well air dried framestock availability all the more. At the same time, demand from upholstered furniture and furniture frame manufacturers is solid. Reported prices are trending higher, warranting $15 boosts to both ends of the Oak range and the bottom side of the Mixed Species range.

As the US and global economies have strengthen, the need for wooden pallets and containers has grown. At the same time, hardwood and softwood production has been slow to recover from the pandemic slowdown. Cant supplies are low relative to demand, and reported prices are responding. The cant listing and low side of the range are increased $10.

Railroad tie inventories rose four of the last five months of 2020, reaching 15,583,000 ties by the end of December. However, it is projected tie insertions and purchases will be slightly higher in 2021 than in 2020. With sawmill production still below 6 billion board feet on an annual basis, buyers are purchasing developing crossties from regular vendors. Reported prices are trending slightly higher, though the range is reflective of pricing information.

Area mills have responded to the slow rate of demand for board road and mat timbers. The reduction in sawmill output eased price pressure early in the downturn. Transactions point out few price changes, allowing the board road listing and range to stand.

Appalachian Comments

ASH

Sawmill operators are readily moving developing green Ash production, though most acknowledge they are sawing less than in the past. A sizeable percentage of output is going to drying operations for eventual export, particularly to China, where demand is good. Domestic sales of this species are better now than during the past several years, paralleling increases in RV and wood furniture production. All the green listings advanced last week; no further adjustments are necessary at this time. However, increases are warranted to all the kiln dried listings and ranges.

HICKORY

Sales of residential wood flooring in the US are thriving alongside robust growth in new home construction and remodeling. While Red and White Oak constitute much of the volume, Hickory flooring is also popular. Hickory is getting a boost from rising demand for cabinets and residential mouldings, with exports contributing additional energy to markets. Published prices for green Hickory have steadily advanced; across the board increases made last week have the #2B&Btr figures in order. Reported prices for kiln dried Hickory are higher for 4/4 #2A and raise the listings and ranges.

HARD MAPLE

Hard Maple is among the species now in high demand but with limited supply. Consumption by cabinet and wood component manufacturers has increased substantially, and more Hard Maple is going into other secondary products, including furniture. Production is struggling to keep up, and prices are escalating. The green 4/4 through 8/4 Fas&1f listings advance $45 for both color classifications. The #1&2 White 4/4 through 8/4 #1C figures climb $30, and 4/4 #2A bumps up $20. Additionally, the Unselected listings increase $20 for #1C and $10 for #2A and #3A across all published thicknesses. All the kiln dried #1&2 White figures also advance, as do the Unselected 4/4 through 8/4 Fas numbers.

#2A&3A OAK

Markets for both residential and truck trailer wood flooring are turning in strong performances. Many flooring plants have increased operating hours or added shifts the last few months, and plans are in place at several locations to further expand production as soon as possible. However, constrained supplies of labor and lumber are slowing the process. Flooring manufacturers are readily absorbing all the #2A&3A Red and White Oak they are being offered and are aggressively searching for more. Repeated increases in past issues have the listings in order for now.

RED OAK

Green Red Oak shipments are vibrant to flooring factories and concentration yards, and decent to moulding/millwork operations. Supplies of most grades and thicknesses are scarce relative to demand. Higher reported prices lift the 5/4 through 8/4 Fas&1f listings $25 and add $10 to 4/4 through 8/4 #1C. Exporters are shipping Red Oak to China as soon as containers and vessel space are available. New orders from China have slowed as the New Year holiday has started. Even so, orders already on the books from China combined with ongoing business in the US and elsewhere have many buyers consistently sold out of kiln dried stock. Higher reported prices lift all the published listings and ranges this week.

WHITE OAK

Demand for this species is quite good across a broad spectrum of markets. In the US, consumption by residential and truck trailer flooring manufacturers is growing as fast as supplies will allow. Moreover, concentration yards with export programs are buying all the green #2A&Btr White Oak suppliers can send them and would like to receive a lot more. Although White Oak is not a prominent species in domestic product applications besides flooring, overall demand growth in other markets has yielded additional business. Published green prices have climbed substantially of late, mirroring trends observed in the marketplace. After weeks of upward adjustments, the only changes required at this time are $40 boosts to the 5/4 Fas&1f figures. However, prices for most kiln dried items continue to march higher. The listings and ranges advance for 4/4 through 8/4 Fas; 4/4, 6/4, and 8/4 #1C; and 4/4 and 5/4 #2A.

POPLAR

Market conditions for Poplar did not change much this week. Sales contacts report brisk business in the US and abroad. Demand is especially good from moulding/millwork operations and from Vietnam. Availability is tight. All grades and thicknesses are moving well, and prices continue to trend up. The green 4/4 through 16/4 #2B&Btr listings are raised $20 for Fas&1f and $10 for #1C, #2A, and #2B. The kiln dried 4/4 through 8/4 #1C&Btr figures also advance.

FRAMESTOCK, CANTS, TIES, & BOARD ROAD

Reports state framestock business is good. Upholstered furniture plants have preferred Mixed Species to Oak framestock, but they are now purchasing all varieties to ensure sufficient on hand inventories. Last week’s increases have both of the ranges in order.

Sawmills have ample orders for pallet cants and lumber. Some pallet plants are reaching further afield to secure enough raw material to support current and anticipated business. The cant listing and range increased each of the last two weeks but hold steady in this issue.

Tie installations are seasonally slow, limited by inclement weather. However, given the low rate of sawmill production, treating operations are maintaining purchasing programs with the vast majority of sawmill suppliers. Most reported prices are holding steady within the respective ranges.

Markets for board road are poor and show no signs of improvement anytime soon. Board road suppliers have scaled back production dramatically but still have plenty of unsold material. Prices are vulnerable to the market’s weak demand but are mostly unchanged and consistent with the listing and range.

Pricing Changes

APPALACHIAN AREA – GREEN:
CHERRY  4/4 FAS 1175+
1F 1165+
1C 650+
 5/4 FAS 1275+
1F 1265+
1C 670+
 6/4 FAS 1350+
1F 1340+
 8/4 FAS 1385+
1F 1375+
CHERRY – NORTH CENTRAL  4/4 FAS 1335+
1F 1325+
1C 725+
 5/4 FAS 1440+
1F 1430+
1C 740+
 6/4 FAS 1470+
1F 1460+
 8/4 FAS 1540+
1F 1530+
HARD MAPLE – #1&2 WHITE  4/4 FAS 1690+
1F 1680+
1C 1170+
2A 710+
 5/4 FAS 1725+
1F 1715+
1C 1170+
 6/4 FAS 1780+
1F 1770+
1C 1170+
 8/4 FAS 1905+
1F 1895+
1C 1170+
HARD MAPLE – UNSELECTED  4/4 FAS 1450+
1F 1440+
1C 1035+
2A 605+
3A 390+
 5/4 FAS 1560+
1F 1550+
1C 1035+
2A 605+
3A 405+
 6/4 FAS 1590+
1F 1580+
1C 1035+
2A 610+
3A 450+
 8/4 FAS 1660+
1F 1650+
1C 1075+
2A 625+
3A 465+
SOFT MAPLE – SAP&BTR  4/4 FAS 1495+
1F 1485+
1C 905+
 5/4 FAS 1525+
1F 1515+
1C 925+
 6/4 FAS 1450+
1F 1440+
1C 965+
 8/4 FAS 1590+
1F 1580+
1C 1000+
SOFT MAPLE – UNSELECTED  4/4 FAS 1385+
1F 1375+
 5/4 FAS 1425+
1F 1415+
 6/4 FAS 1450+
1F 1440+
 8/4 FAS 1460+
1F 1450+
RED OAK  4/4 1C 805+
 5/4 FAS 1185+
1F 1175+
1C 805+
 6/4 FAS 1200+
1F 1190+
1C 810+
 8/4 FAS 1260+
1F 1250+
1C 815+
WHITE OAK  5/4 FAS 2400+
1F 2390+
POPLAR  4/4 FAS 970+
1F 960+
1C 555+
2A 430+
2B 340+
 5/4 FAS 970+
1F 960+
1C 555+
2A 430+
2B 355+
 6/4 FAS 975+
1F 965+
1C 560+
2A 455+
2B 365+
 8/4 FAS 990+
1F 980+
1C 575+
2A 460+
2B 370+
 10/4 FAS 1040+
1F 1030+
1C 600+
2A 485+
2B 385+
 12/4 FAS 1080+
1F 1070+
1C 620+
2A 500+
2B 395+
 16/4 FAS 1120+
1F 1110+
1C 650+
2A 515+
2B 400+
APPALACHIAN AREA – KILN DRIED:
ASH  4/4 FAS 1445+
1C 885+
2A 640+
 5/4 FAS 1580+
1C 1065+
2A 745+
 6/4 FAS 1715+
1C 1245+
2A 985+
 8/4 FAS 1840+
1C 1390+
2A 1090+
BASSWOOD  4/4 FAS 1140+
1C 760+
2A 455+
 5/4 1C 770+
CHERRY  4/4 FAS 1845+
1C 1145+
2A 685+
 5/4 FAS 1880+
1C 1220+
2A 750+
 6/4 FAS 1980+
1C 1355+
 8/4 FAS 2140+
1C 1445+
CHERRY – NORTH CENTRAL  4/4 FAS 1885+
1C 1270+
2A 755+
 5/4 FAS 2035+
1C 1400+
2A 810+
 6/4 FAS 2125+
1C 1465+
 8/4 FAS 2275+
1C 1535+
HICKORY  4/4 2A 935+
HARD MAPLE – #1&2 WHITE  4/4 FAS 2145+
1C 1545+
2A 1140+
 5/4 FAS 2330+
1C 1550+
2A 1115+
 6/4 FAS 2465+
1C 1565+
 8/4 FAS 2610+
1C 1625+
HARD MAPLE – UNSELECTED  4/4 FAS 1900+
 5/4 FAS 2100+
 6/4 FAS 2290+
 8/4 FAS 2395+
SOFT MAPLE – SAP&BTR  4/4 1C 1260+
2A 840+
 5/4 FAS 2070+
1C 1290+
2A 840+
 6/4 FAS 2205+
1C 1320+
2A 855+
 8/4 FAS 2255+
1C 1430+
2A 905+
SOFT MAPLE – SAP&BTR  4/4 FAS 1875+
1C 1155+
2A 750+
 5/4 FAS 1930+
1C 1205+
 6/4 FAS 2075+
1C 1270+
 8/4 FAS 2145+
1C 1350+
RED OAK  4/4 FAS 1545+
1C 1195+
2A 940+
 5/4 FAS 1710+
1C 1325+
2A 970+
 6/4 FAS 1910+
1C 1445+
2A 1100+
 8/4 FAS 2065+
1C 1535+
2A 1195+
WHITE OAK  4/4 FAS 2985+
1C 1500+
2A 1030+
 5/4 FAS 3495+
2A 1250+
 6/4 FAS 3760+
1C 2165+
 8/4 FAS 4635+
1C 2400+
POPLAR  4/4 FAS 1300+
1C 825+
 5/4 FAS 1320+
1C 870+
 6/4 FAS 1345+
1C 880+
 8/4 FAS 1385+
1C 900+
WALNUT  4/4 FAS 4205+
1C 2540+
2A 1510+
 5/4 FAS 4350+
1C 2835+
 6/4 FAS 4575+
1C 3190+
2A 1825+
 8/4 FAS 4920+
1C 3405+
2A 1990+
APPALACHIAN AREA – KILN DRIED NET:
ASH  4/4 FAS 1550+
1C 950+
2A 690+
 5/4 FAS 1700+
1C 1145+
2A 800+
 6/4 FAS 1840+
1C 1335+
2A 1060+
 8/4 FAS 1975+
1C 1495+
2A 1175+
BASSWOOD  4/4 FAS 1225+
1C 815+
2A 490+
 5/4 1C 825+
CHERRY  4/4 FAS 1985+
1C 1230+
2A 735+
 5/4 FAS 2020+
1C 1310+
2A 805+
 6/4 FAS 2125+
1C 1455+
 8/4 FAS 2300+
1C 1550+
CHERRY – NORTH CENTRAL  4/4 FAS 2025+
1C 1365+
2A 810+
 5/4 FAS 2185+
1C 1505+
2A 870+
 6/4 FAS 2285+
1C 1575+
 8/4 FAS 2440+
1C 1650+
HICKORY  4/4 2A 1005+
HARD MAPLE – #1&2 WHITE  4/4 FAS 2305+
1C 1660+
2A 1225+
 5/4 FAS 2500+
1C 1665+
2A 1200+
 6/4 FAS 2650+
1C 1680+
 8/4 FAS 2800+
1C 1745+
HARD MAPLE – UNSELECTED  4/4 FAS 2040+
 5/4 FAS 2260+
 6/4 FAS 2465+
 8/4 FAS 2575+
SOFT MAPLE – SAP&BTR  4/4 1C 1355+
2A 900+
 5/4 FAS 2225+
1C 1385+
2A 905+
 6/4 FAS 2365+
1C 1420+
2A 920+
 8/4 FAS 2420+
1C 1535+
2A 975+
SOFT MAPLE – UNSELECTED  4/4 FAS 2015+
1C 1240+
2A 805+
 5/4 FAS 2070+
1C 1295+
 6/4 FAS 2225+
1C 1365+
 8/4 FAS 2300+
1C 1450+
RED OAK  4/4 FAS 1660+
1C 1285+
2A 1010+
 5/4 FAS 1835+
1C 1425+
2A 1045+
 6/4 FAS 2050+
1C 1550+
2A 1180+
 8/4 FAS 2215+
1C 1650+
2A 1285+
WHITE OAK  4/4 FAS 3200+
1C 1610+
2A 1105+
 5/4 FAS 3750+
2A 1345+
 6/4 FAS 4035+
1C 2325+
 8/4 FAS 4975+
1C 2575+
POPLAR  4/4 FAS 1395+
1C 885+
 5/4 FAS 1415+
1C 935+
 6/4 FAS 1445+
1C 945+
 8/4 FAS 1485+
1C 965+
WALNUT  4/4 FAS 4515+
1C 2730+
2A 1620+
 5/4 FAS 4670+
1C 3045+
 6/4 FAS 4915+
1C 3430+
2A 1960+
 8/4 FAS 5290+
1C 3655+
2A 2140+