March 2016

Spring 2016

In general, most of the log market has fluctuated within a fairly narrow range for many months. As a consequence of suppressed lumber prices and adequate log inventories, there is little incentive for mills to adjust prices; however, cedar remains a bright spot. Purchasers continue to actively seek out this species and are paying strong prices. On the flip side, ponderosa pine prices continue to weaken. Prices for ponderosa pine were not strong a year ago and they have fallen over the last year due to high log inventories, partly related to last summer’s fires and uncooperative lumber markets.
It’s always difficult to predict at this time of year what log values will be coming out of spring break-up, but current indications are not very encouraging. It’s likely there will be a few spot markets of higher prices; however, log purchasers are fairly pessimistic about the likelihood of any significant improvement. Of course, an unusually long, wet spring (which would lower sawmill log inventories) or better lumber prices, would improve this outlook.

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