Columnists, Darren Satsky, Lumber Market Report, News, V3I5

Fast Economic Growth, Strong Outlook, Lower Duties

It’s a see-saw time when it comes to the lumber market.

We have a growing economy. We’re still waiting for a decision on the U.S.-Canada lumber situation.

And we have natural disasters, like Hurricane Harvey and the Western wildfires.

All of these impact the lumber market, so let’s take a closer look at what’s going on and how shed builders can get the most for their money.


The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years during the April through June period. There are signs that this momentum will continue in the third quarter. Strong growth and a labor market near full employment contributed to the optimism about the future.

Consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, grew at a 3.3 percent rate—the fastest pace in a year. Spending contributed the bulk of the economic growth in the quarter.


WSPF 2 by 4 #2 and better prices increased approximately 2 percent over the previous eight weeks. ESPF 2 by 4 #2 and better prices also rose approximately 2 percent over same time period.

SYP prices 2 by 4 #2 prices fell about 3 percent.

KD Western SPF studs were down approximately 1 percent, and Eastern SPF studs fell about 5 percent over the previous 8 weeks.

Treated SYP 2 by 4 #2 prices were down about the same amount as the bright stock, 3 percent on average.


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the final determination in the countervailing and anti-dumping duty cases against Canadian lumber imports has been postponed until no later than November 14. The final determinations had been scheduled for September 6.

“I remain hopeful that we can reach a negotiated solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties,” says Ross. “This extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand
and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement.”

The preliminary CVD is no longer being assessed as of August 25. The suspension of the final determination means that the gap period when the CVD is not collected will now extend for approximately four months, or until late December or early January. The preliminary AD duty is still in place regarding Canadian lumber shipments to the United States.


Distribution and wholesale inventories are currently extremely low. Carload wood bought in August took about four weeks to hit the ground. End users are actively buying truckload wood on a daily basis, because it’s hard to buy multiple cars at today’s levels and feel like it’s a good deal.

Demand in the marketplace continues to be strong, and we’re expecting stronger demand throughout the fall season.

The Western forest fires continue to burn, and mills have not been able to build log decks during this period. Also, we are now in hurricane season.

What should you do today? Buy trucks from your preferred suppliers at best prices and short shipping times. Prompt wood is king. Premium Canadian SPF should be more competitive without the CVD.

I think we will get an agreement with our most important trading partner, Canada, over the next few months. At that time, we should have less pricing volatility.


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