It’s almost shocking to think we’re wrapping up the last week of January already. With February right at the doorstep, thoughts are already turning to spring and warmer weather.

The WRLA Buying Show last week had many of the retail consumers in the prairie markets focusing on their business for the upcoming season. It was the last show in Calgary before moving to Winnipeg for the next several years, so there was curiosity about how the show will look in the new venue.

Along with the show, we saw a moderate amount of follow-through in activity from last week. The market is still seemingly cautious toward any substantial purchasing.

Strike icon

Seven Months and Counting for the Vancouver Island Forestry Strike

The 2400 United Steel Workers who have been affected by the now seven-month-long Western Forest Products strike continue to struggle without a paycheque. Both sides appear to be set in their positions, leaving little hope for a resolution any time soon.

Although the BC government is expected to issue a report and a proposal on old forest growth that may impact the stalemate, that is not until April and there is no telling what the results will be.

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Some Companies Are Taking Advantage of the Growing Timber Market in the US

Penticton, BC’s Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation is expanding into Arkansas with a new $120 million plant build. The move is a reaction to gain an advantage in the Southern US mass timber construction market that seems to be growing.

Read More.


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New Provincial Building Code Paves the Way for Affordable Housing in Edmonton

As the change to allow for 12-storey wood-building construction, instead of 6-storey takes hold, more money is left for affordable housing throughout Edmonton. This bodes well for the forestry sector in the region.

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Dimensional Lumber


Dimensional pricing strengthened and we saw print higher Friday with mills pushing list prices up to start the week. Mills are looking to try to gain some ground after strong sales in the previous week. We saw, once again, a reasonable level of takeaway but no real sense of urgency that the market would suddenly take off in a flurry.


Tallies were available and prices were up from mills and the distribution level. There is not a general scarcity, as you can still find the products you need in a reasonably prompt manner. You can expect to pay market levels, however, as most shorters left the market a week ago.


It continues to be tight where 2x6 is concerned, as we are still not seeing the volume of material, with less availability on the short end. 2x6 10’ remains a strong item, and there is value in 2x6 16’. Mills are showing some spotty tallies, so caution is recommended with firmness on levels.


The 2x8 market has continued to strengthen. There is not a tremendous amount of volume being offered and numbers are firm, while 16’ and 18’ items are commanding a strong premium.


At this point in time, this market seems to be the most difficult to manage, with less availability at most mills. Those mills with tallies are holding firm to their pricing levels and we anticipate that 2x10 will show strength over the next couple of weeks. A significant amount of material is not expected to hit the market in the short term.


The pendulum has swung again on 2x12, as we are seeing more material available from some of the larger producers for the mid-February time frame. Pricing continues to hold firm and it is not anticipated that we will see much pricing drawback as this pattern has been repeating itself for some time now. Cover your 2x12 needs as they come while the material is available.



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There was a big jump on 2x4 this week, approximately $40/m on ask and mills achieved sales at these new levels. Of note, pressure on the 92 trim has resulted in pressure on 8’ material. We’ve seen a corresponding lack of availability for straight 8’ trucks the last few weeks.


9’ material was up significantly as there has been some pressure on studs over the past few weeks. As takeaway has been better, it has been able to push numbers up. There is limited availability, so it has been difficult to find. With that, we expect studs to press up over the coming weeks.

MSR Lumber

In MSR, 2x4 and 2x6 2100 longs remain difficult to find with 2x6 MSR in general showing less availability than 2x4 material.

If there is anything that is showing some opportunity, it would be 2x4 1650, as it is more readily available at Western Canadian mills. It is not trading at a significant premium to #2&btr, so mills may be looking to move or accept counters on it, whereas other items remain tight. Otherwise, the market has been fairly static for the last couple of weeks.

Of note, 2x8 1950 is starting to become a little more readily available, with mills being a little more flexible in their tallies.

Panel Products


Print on plywood was flat to finish last week. Mills were successful in developing an order file after some discounting. They brought their numbers back up and are showing February 10th and 17th as ship weeks, depending on the mode.

Mills are cautiously optimistic at this point that they will be able to continue to hold their order files and slowly push them out.

On OSB, there was a curtailment announcement at one of the larger Western Canadian mills. In the face of continued low pricing, they want to take more production offline to try and balance the market.


Our thoughts on plywood continue to be that there is a tremendous value at these levels and we do anticipate price appreciation as we move towards the busier building season.

It certainly feels much more balanced and it would not take much to get plywood moving if there is significant buy-in south of the border.


After a strong week and the weeks prior, mills in Western Canada have moved to the short side to the week of February 24th for production and well into March on the long end. Please note, mills are still quoting 1 - 2 extra weeks for transportation.

With order files established and a decent cushion, mills will be able to push back against any counters to remain firm to their price. They will be looking to move upward, as we have seen some appreciation in price over the past week and a half. We look for that to continue at a measured pace for the next few weeks. Pricing is up $10/m US, reflecting at $12/m CDN increase. We’re looking for pricing to continue to climb as the US has been active and participating.

On-Ground Inventory

We have inventories across the country to help fill your LTL and prompt lumber needs. Whether it’s studs, dimensional lumber, MSR, OSB or plywood, we have material on ground and can fill your mixed truckload needs.

Contact Our Team Today


It’s almost shocking to think we’re wrapping up the last week of January already. With February right at the doorstep, thoughts are already turning to spring and warmer weather.

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