Forest2Mill E-Newsletter
April 2010
In This Issue
Housing Market Update
Lumber Trends
Pacific Northwest Update
Pete Stewart Wins Award
Associations Offer F2M Discounts
Quick Links

From Forest2Market's Economic Outlook 
Performance was mixed in February for wood and paper products manufacturing (Table 1). With increases in overall activity, new and backlogged orders, and declining customer inventories, Paper Products looks to be reasonably well positioned for the future. Wood Products, on the other hand, continues to wither; the only ray of sunshine came from a decline in customer inventories, but that was tempered by shrinking order books.

According to the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Rail Time Indicators report, the volume of U.S. rail traffic is still "off" from 2009's levels - and even more substantially relative to 2008. However, lumber and wood products showed an increase in shipped volumes during January 2010, relative to January 2009.
House Sold  
Sales of both existing and new homes fell in February, with existing home sales slipping 0.6 percent to 5.02 million units and new home sales hitting a record low, falling 2.2 percent to 308,000 units (Table 1). Pending home sales were also down, 7.6 percent lower in January than December.

Housing starts fell as well, dropping 5.9 percent to an annual adjusted rate of 575,000. Permits, a leading indicator of housing activity, were down 1.6 percent (Table 2). According to the National Association of Home Builders, U.S. home-builder confidence fell from 17 to 15 in March, the fourth drop in six months.
The Story Is in the NumbersStacked Lumber
Sometimes, numbers tell a story better than words do. Take, for instance, the following chart showing combined Southern Yellow Pine orders, shipments and prices for 2010.

Based on actual data from orders and invoices, this chart captures the story behind lumber prices. It is a snapshot of the market through time.

Fourth quarter of 2009
Orders and shipments were fairly well balanced. Prices were stable as a result.
By: Gordon CulbertsonForest2Mill August 2009
Douglas fir log prices remain strong throughout the Westside of Oregon and Washington. Lumber prices have been holding up, and plywood prices rose dramatically on the heels of the Chilean earthquake.

Regional Westside prices for domestic Douglas fir 2S averaged $438 per MBF during March 2010. This is a significant turnaround from the depths of April 2009 when prices were in the $330 per MBF range. The last time prices exceeded $435 was December 2008, as they passed through on a slide from $500+ per MBF levels.
Forest2Market's President and CEO, Pete Stewart, received the Staff Award at the Forest Resources Association's 2010 Annual Meeting for his support of the organization and its goals.

According to FRA President Richard Lewis, the Staff Award recognizes a member who has stepped in beyond the call of duty to make the FRA a more effective organization, generally by filling a need the staff is not equipped to fill. "Associations like ours have limited staffs and resources. As a result, we rely on our members to assist us. Stewart did this over and over again in the last year."
Mississippi and Texas Join Program
Forest2Market would like to welcome the Mississippi and Texas Forestry Associations as the most recent participants in our Association Discount Program. What does this mean? When renewing or signing up for Forest2Market's Timber Owner Market Guide or Online Timber Pricing Service for Landowners, members of these organizations will receive a 15 percent discount. That could mean as much $45 in savings.

At a time when forest owners may allow their memberships to lapse, these associations offer money-saving discounts on data that can help members track the value of their timber and know its true market value when it's time to harvest. Join us in supporting these organizations.
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