Lumber Demand Remains Sluggish, Prices Show Mixed Trends

North American lumber demand continues to underperform, falling short of typical seasonal expectations. The panel sales sector has been particularly weak, indicating a broader slowdown in the construction materials market.

Western Spruce-Pine-Fir (S-P-F) 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) lumber prices have remained stable at US$384 per thousand board feet (mfbm) for the week ending June 7. This price represents a marginal increase of $1 compared to the previous month and a more substantial year-over-year growth of $24, or 7%. However, when compared to two years ago, the price has significantly dropped by $276, or 42%, from $660 mfbm.

Similarly, Southern Yellow Pine East Side 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) lumber held steady at $370 mfbm. While this price shows a 5% increase from last month, it has decreased by $55, or 13%, compared to the same period last year. The two-year comparison reveals an even more dramatic decline of $355, or 49%, from $725 mfbm.

The soft demand is due largely to housing starts cooling. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) noted that the figure dropped 5.5% in May, with housing permits falling 3.8%.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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