1. Will more lumber traders discover benefits of practicing mindfulness as a tool to improve mental well-being with ever increasing, stress-inducing market volatility?
Dr Jon Kabit-Zinn could be describing the ever-wary lumber wholesaler when he tells us that our minds spend most of the time in the future, preoccupied with either worrying or planning. Founder of the life-altering Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness meditation apps exploded in popularity during the pandemic. It seems reasonable therefore to assume more lumber traders discovered the benefits of mindfulness this year in midst of a punishing, prolonged market correction still unfolding.
2. Will either U.S. or Canadian men’s soccer teams record satisfying results in the World Cup in Qatar this year?
Making the knockout stage of the World Cup is considered a win by many after both the US and Canada missed the tournament entirely in 2018. With that in mind, we would consider the US advancement to the knockout stage more satisfying than Canada’s failure to earn a single point. Canada’s thrilling, grueling journey to qualify for their first men’s World Cup since 1986 will be this fan’s lasting memory.
3. Will the labour pool for truckers grow in North America?
While the labour shortage for truckers has eased slightly in 2022 after more than 80% of TL carriers raised pay last year, the industry still faces its second largest number of vacancies on record. American Trucking Association Chief Economist Bob Costello expects the shortage of truckers to double by 2028.
4. Will the latest record-shattering lumber market run end differently this time?
The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price peaked in Q1 at $1334 (Mar. 10) before disintegrating month after month through year-end ($380 Dec. 27). It’s well understood that lumber markets generally take the stairs up and the elevator down (in 2021, the composite crashed from an all-time high of $1515 in May to $389 in August). Perhaps the only thing different this time was the long, winding trip down.
5. Will contemporary democracy be deemed viable in America by the end of 2022?
Yes, it is deemed viable still. Results in the US midterm election underscored the resiliency of the US democracy. At the same time, there is evidence of agreement across the political spectrum that problems like money politics, identity politics, wrangling between political parties, political polarization, social division, racial tension and the wealth gap have become more acute. It is not a partisan conclusion therefore to acknowledge that all of this has weakened the functioning of democracy in America. While politics may appear to be less strident or discordant north of the 49th, there is general acknowledgement that creeping authoritarianism across the globe is a growing threat to western democracies everywhere.
6. Will Putin’s Russia invade Ukraine?
Yes. On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War which began in 2014. Reports indicate it’s likely there are tens of thousands of deaths on both sides, while causing Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II.
7. Will the Old Growth logging deferral be an unresolved issue for B.C. by the end of 2022?
8. Will pandemic woes be better or worse by end of 2022 in terms of impact on ‘normalizing’ our lives?
Covid variants are rising and new strains of respiratory flus are leading to hospitalizations that threaten overburdened healthcare systems. In terms of ‘normalizing’ our lives, there is ample evidence that ongoing programs of vaccination and common-sense health protective measures are playing out in most regions of the continent. We seem to be “living with it”. The same cannot be said for some countries such as China, where reported loosening of covid protocols is hardly deemed to be “normalizing” life.
9. Will the early lockout of Major League Baseball mean no summer ball? Should we care?
The MLB strike in 2022 ended March 10 with the signing of a new agreement. Issues raised between the league and union involved compensation for young players and limitations on tanking to receive higher draft picks. So there was a summer ball season. We might not have cared except for the Blue Jays exciting tease through October.
10. How will the accelerated pace of digital transformation across every organization alter collaboration between remote workers and office workers in the lumber industry in 2022?
Microsoft Teams has emerged as the cloud-based collaboration software of choice between remote workers and office workers in the industry. Further, the instant messaging and video meeting capabilities of remote communications platforms such as Microsoft Teams have helped close the geographical divide between lumber distributors and customers in all markets.
11. Will B.C.’s largest sawmill owners’ trend of expanding their investment in forestry operations south of the border increase unabated in 2022?
Last year set new records for lumber company acquisitions, with $2.2 billion of takeovers playing out in North America, more than the previous five years combined according to a report from analyst Paul Quinn, RBC Capital Markets. As early as March 2022, industry reports declared that investment banks were predicting Canada’s largest forest products companies would continue to expand south of the border by targeting privately-owned timberlands and sawmills. Early reporting by analyst Benoit Laprade of Scotia Capital showed that the enjoyment of excess cash flows early in the year underscored the economic attractiveness of acquisitions south of the border.
12. Will the longest reigning monarch in British history – Elizabeth II – be ruling over the British Commonwealth of Nations by the end of 2022?
Sadly, the answer is no. She was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, including Canada, from 6 February 1952 until her death 8 September 2022.
13. Will year-end survey ascertain that most lumber traders are in compliance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation of at least 7 hours sleep per night that is required for maintaining well-being and healthy life?
Our year-end survey at Dakeryn ascertained that most lumber traders are more likely to short their slumber than their lumber, by not being in compliance with CDC recommendation of at least 7 hours sleep per night. How trader sleep deprivation contributes to ill-advised market decisions or personal irritability remains an open question for another day, or year.
Am pleased to report that despite harsh winter weather in Vancouver before Christmas, we can pass along kudos to Dakeryn traders Daniel Binng and Phil Barter who shopped, assembled, and delivered company-record 50 food hampers to First United Church housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.