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This week (March 24) in Through a Knothole
Formal negotiations to reach a new Softwood Lumber Agreement have yet to materialize just one month before the preliminary CVD determination is due -- Eastern S-P-F producers are exploring their options as decisions on imposition of duties move closer to reality -- Southern Pine plywood prices are in recovery mode after recent annual declines -- Revised import data from the U.S. Census Bureau has resolved a months-long discrepancy in statistical reports measuring Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. -- The U.S. International Trade Commission has postponed its preliminary determination of an anti-dumping duty investigation associated with hardwood plywood imports from China. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Universal's Mordell advises forestry students about career in lumber industry
Michigan State University alumnus Mike Mordell is executive vice president for international operations for Universal Forest Products International, a Universal Forest Products company. He says the lumber industry features a dynamic supply chain and that the business operates a lot like the stock market. “We might not be as sexy as dot-coms or Silicon Valley, but we’re integral to how the world and the economy operates." For more, click here...
Canfor plans to make oil from wood waste
Canadian logging giant Canfor Pulp has announced its developing the first ever commercial-scale biocrude oil plant. Biocrude is a synthetic fuel under investigation as a substitute for petroleum. Canfor says the biocrude will be nearly indistinguishable from traditional crude oil. "In the next few years we'll be announcing a project and building a real facility that will produce upwards of 400,000 barrels of oil a year," said Bret Robinson, president of Canfor Pulp. For more, click here...
This week (March 17) in Through a Knothole
Producers of LVL, I-joists, and glulam beams have raised prices on the heels of the strong rally in lumber and structural panels in February -- Negotiations surrounding the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber trade issue will take center stage regarding issues that will affect traders in the second quarter -- Last year's shipments of lumber to the U.S. from European suppliers were at the highest rate since 2008 -- For the second year in a row, a large increase in lumber production in Quebec led to a jump in North American lumber output -- Led by a surge in the West, housing starts in February rose 3.0% from January. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
This week (March 10) in Through a Knothole
A bark beetle infestation in the Sierra Nevada region of California has killed millions of trees -- Led by a surge in imports, the supply of softwood lumber to the U.S. market in 2016 rose 9.5% -- WWPA report: After emotional start to year, U.S. economy and wood products demand expected to grow steadily in 2017 -- After shattering records the previous two years, U.S. imports of MDF from offshore faded in 2016 -- A column for Inland Red Cedar #3&Btr boards graded on both faces will be added to the Random Lengths Lumber Price Guide. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Global lumber trade up 66% since recession
Global softwood lumber trade increased 12% year-over-year to reach a new record-high of 121 million cubic meters in 2016, per estimates by Wood Resources International. Since the global financial recession in 2009, there has been a steady climb in international trade of lumber, with shipments the past seven years having increased as much as 66%. While it is no surprise that China is a major driver for the dramatic rise in lumber shipments worldwide the past seven years, it is interesting to note that the U.S. has actually increased softwood lumber imports more than China. For more, click here...
Senate, House introduce Timber Innovation Act
WASHINGTON – The Senate and House today introduced the “Timber Innovation Act” to the support of the American Wood Council (AWC), American Forest Foundation (AFF), Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA). Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Steve Daines (R-MT) Angus King (I-ME), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Senate bill. The House bill was introduced by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Peter Welch (D-VT). For more, click here...
This week (March 3) in Through a Knothole
The reported price of green Douglas Fir 2x10 has been at a premium to dry Fir 2x10 for more than a quarter -- Last month's surge in prices of Southern Pine dimension was strong, but not unprecedented -- Western Fir plywood has made inroads against Southern Pine plywood in the Los Angeles market recently -- According to a monthly survey, retailers have adjusted their lumber sales expectations sharply higher. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Idaho sawmill wins national award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has named Bennett Lumber Products, Incorporated as the Small Business of the Month for February. The company, which has mills in Princeton, Idaho, and Clarkston, Wash., will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate. “Bennett Lumber epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit of Idaho,” Risch says. “It is not easy to grow and adapt in the ever-changing regulatory climate that impacts small business owners, especially those who deal with natural resources, but these challenges have not kept Bennett Lumber from thriving while at the same time making great efforts to manage land and forests sustainably. I am proud of the work that Bennett Lumber continues to do in Idaho and Washington, and am pleased to distinguish this company as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Month.” For more, click here...
Lumber top commodity gainer in futures in February
Lumber futures scored the biggest gain among major commodities for the month of February, as Donald Trump’s first full month as U.S. president fed uncertainty surrounding the nation’s lumber trade dispute with Canada. Random length lumber for May delivery was trading at $365.90 per 1,000-board-feet Tuesday afternoon, set for a roughly 10.9% gain for the month. Year to date, prices have climbed nearly 16%, based on the most-active contracts, after jumping almost 23% in 2016, according to FactSet data. For more, click here...
Wilbur Ross confirmed as Commerce Secretary
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross was confirmed as President Trump's secretary of Commerce on Monday night by a vote of 72 to 27 in the U.S. Senate. Ross will divest from the private equity firm he founded, WL Ross & Co., as part of his ethics agreement upon entering government service. He will retain other financial interests but has pledged not to take any action as commerce secretary that would benefit a company in which he holds a stake. For more, click here...
This week (February 24) in Through a Knothole
The Southern Pine lumber industry credits marketing for its recent increases in export shipments -- The premium of Ponderosa Pine #2&Btr 1x12 to #3 stock has plummeted in 2017 -- Recently surging prices have been a relief for many producers, particularly those who manufacture western Fir plywood -- The recent spike in lumber prices has homebuilders nervous about supplies and increased costs during spring. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Lowe's announces layoff of more than 500
Staff cuts at Lowe's are hitting the home improvement retailer's headquarters in North Carolina. The company announced it was laying off 430 people from its headquarters in Mooresville. Lowe's will also cut an additional 70 support positions in its Wilkesboro location and about 25 corporate support jobs located in other facilities. For more, click here...
This week (February 17) in Through A Knothole
The three-week surge in lumber prices just ahead of anticipated duties on Canadian exports to the U.S. so far closely resembles the run that occurred in 2001 just before the U.S. imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canada. Reported prices of Southern Pine #1 2x12-20s soared to record levels on the eastside last year, as did its premium to its #2 counterpart. U.S. housing starts opened the year with a modest decline from December. All this and more, but only in your full weekly report.
This week (February 10) in Through a Knothole
Canadian officials are huddling to assess priorities in negotiations with U.S. officials, but two key figures in the U.S. have yet to be confirmed by Congress -- U.S. softwood lumber imports from overseas soared for a fourth consecutive year and reached an eight-year high -- Wood products companies are still assessing the damage caused by deadly wildfires in Chile that burned vast tracts of privately owned forest plantations. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Wyoming company relocates
Bazooka Lumber & Livestock LLC of Lovell, Wyo,, has completed its relocation to their new 3-plus acre facility at 1126 US Hwy 14A West in Lovell. According to managing member Brad Hutzenbiler, this new location will allow for greater expansion of product lines and is more convenient for contractors and will facilitate faster delivery times than their previous location.
Seneca offers scholarship
The Seneca Family of Companies, Eugene, Ore., has created a scholarship program to award a $5,000 scholarship to an eligible applicant. Eligible applicants include any junior or senior high school student in Oregon. The scholarship will be awarded to a single recipient based on an essay contest. To prepare for the essay, the applicant is required to hold three different interviews with people connected to the wood products industry, based on this question: “What are the benefits of forest management for the forest and for the community?” For more, click here...
Softwood Lumber Board seeks candidates
The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) seeks nominations of softwood lumber manufacturers and importers interested in candidacy for Board seats coming open in January 2018. The deadline for nominations is March 13, 2017. For more, click here...
This week (February 3) in Through a Knothole
Concern over the possibility of duties on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. threw S-P-F and Cedar prices into chaos -- For the third straight year, framing lumber prices softened in January, which goes against the long-term trend -- Chinese softwood lumber imports soared to record volumes in 2016, confounding early projections of a modest decline -- Winter weather and the duty investigations made dealers a bit cautious, but still upbeat about sales expectations, according to Random Lengths' monthly retail survey. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Chinese lumber imports reach record high
China imported record-high volumes of softwood lumber in 2016 and softwood log imports reached their second-highest level on record. Despite relatively pessimistic forecasts for wood demand early in 2016, China’s need for imported wood picked up during the summer and fall with import volumes of both logs and lumber being up about 20% in the 4Q/16 as compared to the 4Q/15. Total importation of logs and lumber (in roundwood equivalents) reached almost 76 million cubic meters in 2016, which was up 17% from 2015, and almost 38% higher than five years ago, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). For more,
This week (January 27) in Through a Knothole
OSB traders are upbeat about prospects for the market in 2017 -- Prices of low grade are pushing higher due to rising demand and less supply heading to the U.S. from Canadian producers -- Declining yields of low-grade SYP lumber have led to a steady climb in prices of #3 and #4 -- Structural panel production dipped in the fourth quarter, but was up in 2016, according to APA - The Engineered Wood Association. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Softwood Lumber Board produces video
The Softwood Lumber Board has launched a video "Changing How America Builds," where company CEOs discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Lumber Check-off Program. For more, click here...
This week (January 20) in Through a Knothole
North American softwood lumber exporters begin 2017 looking for a resolution in the U.S.-Canada trade dispute to provide a clearer picture of the year's prospects for international trade -- North American softwood lumber exports to China are on pace to hit a six-year low despite gains late in the year -- A surge in the multifamily sector lifted U.S. housing starts in December. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Fort McMurray wildfire costs to reach almost $9B
Ten months since a wildfire devastated Fort McMurray, Alberta, the economic damage caused by the disaster is coming into sharper focus. A new report from MacEwan University estimates the total cost of the wildfire will surpass $8.86 billion. The study calculates the impact of the disaster on all levels, including financial, physical and social factors. For more, click here...
Oregon trucker delivers baby
Danny Leon-Guerrero, a professional truck driver for Central Oregon Truck Company of Redmond, Ore., has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for delivering a baby at a Pilot Flying J truck stop. On June 10, 2016 at around 3 p.m., Danny Leon-Guerrero was at the Pilot Flying J in Ardmore, Okla. He was on his way to the restaurant to get some ice cream when a woman ran out of the restroom screaming for someone to call 911. Her daughter’s water broke. Leon-Guerrero told the woman that he was a volunteer firefighter and asked if he could come into the restroom and help. For more, click here...
This week (January 13) in Through a Knothole
The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a positive injury determination, which means the CVD and AD cases on softwood lumber imports from Canada will continue -- Spending on home improvement is forecast to stay on a modest upward track in 2017 -- Shipments of plywood from Brazil to the U.S. dropped off at the end of 2016 -- In a monthly survey, retailers raised their sales expectations and inventory levels. All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
This week (January 6) in Through a Knothole
Lumber prices have typically risen during the first quarter over the past 20-plus years -- Housing analysts forecast another modest push upward in U.S. housing starts in 2017 -- Composite panel producers are closely monitoring the investigation into imports of Chinese hardwood plywood -- Joe Heitz retires after a 27-year career with Random Lengths -- All this and more, available only in your full weekly report.
Richmond International hosts women's leadership workshop
Richmond International Forest Products is hosting a leadership workshop February 10 where best practices and ideas can inspire women in the wood products industry to make a difference. A roundtable workshop with leadership facilitator Kate Deaton will be held at the Hilton-Downtown in Richmond, Va. For more information, email Linda.Hull@rifp.com.
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