“Lackluster second-quarter financial results coming from Canadian softwood lumber producers underline the continued importance of the United States housing market to the industry.”
Published results of a June/July on-line survey indicate that more than three quarters of Canadian men say they’re often, or somewhat often, romantic. Of those guys, about one in five admits his top motivation is sex. Sixty-three per cent say they have faith in, and want to participate in, the institution of marriage. And most guys believe a “real man” is a terrific husband and father, as opposed to a great lover, leader, or handyman.
There is no indication of survey response among lumber traders, who are said to be too busy weighing impact of rising Canadian dollar in the light of uncertainty surrounding resolution to debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.
It was sad to learn of Amy Winehouse’s death over the weekend. While on honeymoon in St. Lucia in May 2009, I snapped these photos of her on a secluded beach, before my wife and I chatted with her at the otherwise empty beach bar. Wearing her trademark pink ballet slippers, she told us she was between recording sessions at her studio a short walk away. She suggested we try her favourite ice cream shop nearby, and pointed out her boyfriend, who was on horseback at the edge of the surf. She politely declined our request for a photo with her, due to a nasty black eye, but she was very friendly. Another musical talent gone too soon!
The B.C. Wholesale Lumber Association’s annual baseball outing was held last night at Nat Bailey Stadium, to catch our Vancouver Canadians – minor league affiliates of the Toronto Blue Jays owned by Jake Kerr of Lignum Forest Products. Lumber wholesalers and their families teamed up with an even larger group from Challenger Baseball, to enjoy a great barbecue and plenty of bonus attractions – including the San Diego Chicken! Apparently a baseball game also took place, in which Vancouver defeated the Eugene Emeralds 4-1.
Nevermind price spreads, the temperature differential across Canada is extreme. Here in Vancouver, as the unusually rainy and chilly 60°F “summer” conditions continue, bowling alleys report a boom in business! The opposite is true in “the furnace city” of Toronto, where highs of 99°F this week triggered the opening of “cooling centers” throughout the city, to keep Torontonians from overheating. As for lumber markets, while prices have been quietly simmering since bottoming in May, we can only dream that cooling centers might someday be required?
Seasonally adjusted housing starts in the U.S. were 629,000 in June, up 14.6% from May. “Builders are nearly 31 per cent ahead of the 477,000-per-year pace from April 2009, which was the lowest point on records dating back to 1959.”
There were fewer bulls in North American lumber markets this week than on the streets of Pamplona, where the real studs were up to their eyeballs running with the bulls. Maybe next year?
While most lumber traders likely agree markets today present challenges no matter where you sit, this interactive article from Canadian Business Magazine suggests that where you sit does have an impact.
At Frost Lake Logging, which operates in the forests between Prince George and Fort St. James, the weekend rain left the land too wet to work, safety officer Neil Smith said.
“It’s slowed down our production,” he said. “The machines are still on the site, but they are just sitting. Right now we won’t be able to use our fellerbunchers or our skidders for a week, but we will be back in full production next week,” said Smith.
When lumber markets heat up, we all try to stay cool. But when real temperatures are setting records as part of a heat wave that’s plaguing at least 15 states this week, it’s nearly impossible to beat the heat.
Now comes word from Methuen, Massachusetts that even the ice cream truck driver is being ticketed – because his music is too loud?!