February 2014 – Market Update

Despite the deep-freeze temperatures and snowfall had in January, lumber sales in New England remained strong and are seemingly on the same course for February. Although business was a little unsteady, it was mostly due to the weather conditions and it picked right back up once lots were cleared and temperatures were once again tolerable. Overall, dealers have been actively buying inventory to replenish their stock levels at a time when a drop in demand is the norm. At the mill level, winter weather usually prohibits access to forests so they have to rely upon their available log supplies. As of print, mills are reporting enough logs on hand to meet demand, but that could change if construction remains strong. If the weather pattern remains favorable through February, there is potential for a strain on supply, which would subsequently affect pricing. In the meantime, prices are holding firm and mills have been able to fill and deliver orders promptly.

In February of last year, there was a much different air to the lumber market than there is this year. After a horrendously long and painful recession (which took its toll not only financially, but spiritually and emotionally on all of us), suddenly there was optimism that this was “it”, the magic reset that would bring the industry back to the point from which it had fallen so far from. Fortunately, business was significantly better (it was wonderful to enjoy a year where our stresses came from positive affects like too much business, rather than not enough)! Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite to the level of expectation that was out there and the glut of lumber created half way through the year from over-reactive buying set the lumber industry back. This year, the general attitude is still quite optimistic that business will be strong, although it is reserved, controlled, and much less emotional. Many lumber professionals are now rejuvenated and are using their positive energy to carry on and improve their businesses. 2014 promises to be a good year and we are looking forward to more of this rational and positive outlook from our partners which, inevitably, will advance our industry.

We are one of the businesses that are feeling this rejuvenation and are clearly excited at what the future holds! We hope that this year we can earn our place of being your #1building material supplier by consistently providing you with high quality products and reliable and friendly service. Please do contact your Shepley lumber sales person should you have any questions or concerns, and thank you for your business!

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