March22

Lumber Market Update – April 2019

By Paul Rogers

A lull in the market tempered buying for most of March, but it wasn’t because outtake was poor on the retail level. Despite March coming in like a lion, it wasn’t enough to quell the pace of construction. Sales were brisk, but the bulk of energy spent by buyers was chasing down late lumber trucks, many of which were purchased in February. Although the winter was a relatively wet but mild one for Southern New England, it was an entirely different situation in northern climes where snow storm accumulation was measured in feet, not inches. It became a real struggle to keep inventories flush as both production and trucking backlogs continued to grow. Distributors enjoyed the business that was thrown their way by retailers who were trying to fill holes in their inventory, but not to the extent that they would have liked. It became apparent that some over-buying occurred during the February rally, so demand still paled against supply.

Subsequently, pricing languished for most of March and those at the wholesale end of the supply chain worked extra hard to move out their higher priced material, but were met with few takers. With the official exit of winter, there is a fresh outlook that business will be strong this spring. It’s anticipated that there will be another round of buying that will occur as dealers jockey to cover their anticipated needs. As of print, prices are flat but firming more every day. We do anticipate for them to moderately climb as we progress through April. 

We’ve been blessed with a surprisingly busy first quarter of 2019, and are excited for what the rest of the year will bring. We have come to realize that one of the hardest things that we must do in busy times is to stop and find the time to concentrate and understand the information before us. It runs contrary to human nature (especially if you are running a business and have a busy personal life), but it’s a simple fact that mistakes are more apt to occur when you are rushing and/or distracted, and the resulting mistakes can be disastrous. One prime example of where rushing can be problematic is reviewing quotes. We are often subjected to making sense of them in order to make a fair comparison which, we know, is time consuming and confusing, at best. However, it is critical to cross-check quotes against your own list (or another supplier’s) and to review important information, such as lead times, warranty information, and required sundries. Having the faith that your supplier has quoted you accurately and thoroughly alleviates some of the pressure you have double checking lists, and this is an area that we excel at. We want you to be spending your time landing and starting a job that will, ultimately, lead to a successful and profitable outcome. In addition to having a very deep bench of experienced sales people who specialize in their respective categories, we also have comprehensive methods in place that ensure that you have all that you need in order to be at your best vantage point when quoting a job. Taking advantage of our sales people’s expertise will surely be your best foot forward in obtaining a comprehensive quote, but we also encourage you to ask questions that you may have regarding any discrepancies that you may see when comparing our quotes to other suppliers. Although we are very confident that our quotes are accurate and thorough, we embrace the opportunity to perform an apples-to-apples comparison to verify where the differences are and review them with you for your own edification. We know that your biggest premium is time. After all, it’s quickest to flip to the bottom lines, compare and draw conclusions that one quote is better than another, and run with it.  However, we sincerely want you to be fully supplied and within budget, so please take advantage of our services. We know that the time you spend with us at the quote stage will pay you back in dividends in time and money once your job is underway.

With spring upon us and with what appears to be a good year ahead, we are excited to show you all what we can do to enhance your business. We hope that we have earned our place as your number one supplier of building materials but, if we aren’t there yet, please let us know so that we can get to work on it. Thank you for your business!

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