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Market Brief

Following is excerpted from the March Hardwood Leader: All eyes are on China at the moment, with nearly every forecast hinging on how rapidly and resoundingly its demand emerges from the New Year break. Early indications are that post-holiday sales have not been as robust as expected, and large in-country lumber inventories and lowered outlooks for Chinese economic and housing sector growth have dampened enthusiasm a bit. While it may take a few months to work through the large volumes shipped last fall and re-ignite Chinese buying, we remain optimistic for 9-10% growth in 2015. With U.S. and European demand expected to be relatively flat, growth in Asian and Mexican markets will be critical for the industry to turn in another positive year. Production will stay ahead of demand for many #1 Common, #2 Common and low-grade items for the next several months, leading to additional price erosion. Oversupplies could worsen if sawmills accelerate cuts to get ahead of anticipated price drops.