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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, click here...

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

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Friday, February 24, 2017


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