Random Short Lengths

A few blogger’s notes that one day could grow up to be posts of their own:

  • In midst of all the puzzling U.S. housing reports of late, could the housing starts data for April surprise? Some market watchers hint that starts and permits could exceed forecasts when the report is released May 16th. Signs of renewed activity would lend strength to forest analyst expectations for lumber prices to gradually creep higher through the second half of the year.
  • The International Wood Markets Group hosted their 4th Annual Softwood Log & Lumber Conference in Vancouver yesterday. Among the many intriguing presenters, Mans Johannson, Vice CEO of the VIDA Group, the largest private sawmilling group in Sweden, addressed market trends and outlooks from a European perspective. A particular slide he shared reportedly captured the attention of almost 300 in attendance. The chart precisely indicated lumber prices around the world required to trigger shipments from Europe into select markets. Of note, Northeast U.S. market pricing presently ranks near the bottom of the list.
  • “There is no wood fibre shortage globally,” confirms Mark Kennedy, Executive Director at CIBC Forest Products Equity Research, in town for the conference. In talking with Mark last evening, he suggested of greater significance is what price levels are required to attract global supply. Perhaps that helps explain the origin of the lumber trader’s adage “nothing solves high prices like high prices.”


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