Softwood lumber prices increase by smaller amounts as demand slows

By Canadian Forest Industries

As Madison’s had suggested last week, the unprecedented increases in North America construction framing softwood lumber prices seen so far during 2020 slowed somewhat last week. Normally by Labour Day customers have ordered, and indeed received, their wood for ongoing and expected projects to the end of the year. Usually in early September prices have already been falling, as that wood has been produced and shipped to end-users. Generally speaking at this time of year sawmill order files are down to just a few days, lumber manufacturing can easily keep up with demand, lumber yards are well stocked, and players are looking toward the end-of-year shutdown.

This year has been anything but “normal”, all can agree.

As happened a few weeks ago, the only lumber commodity item which lost ground last week was Plywood. It is often the case that panel (Oriented Strand Board, or OSB, and Plywood) lead the market and provide good indication of looming changes in dimension lumber prices. Only this week and next will tell if lumber prices will flatten, or even drop as Plywood did last week.