Winter weather has taken a tight grip in much of North America. At the very least, the threat is upon us to see potential weather patterns that will slow down consumption for large swaths of the market.

We rolled into this week after a muted tone to the market last week. Overall, the market seems to be limping through the rest of December and into the new year.

Consumers are seeing no real urgency to step into anything of substance and mills are still finding reasonable balance on the supply side, which has resulted in a standoff.

The futures market continues to fluctuate, although sentiment to some is that we are starting to see a drawdown, giving back some of the gains it had been posting over cash.

World news

Russia to Pass Canada and Become the World's Leading Softwood Lumber Exporter

Russia is on track to ship nearly 32 million cubic meters of softwood lumber in 2019, representing 23% of all globally-traded lumber.

The country’s rise is largely due to low lumber production in other nations such as the U.S. and Canada.

Read More.


Tree Icon.v2

B.C. Interior Towns Fighting for Future out of Forestry's Downturn

The province estimates 5,100 workers remain out of work or on reduced schedules across the province, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

A sawmill in Merritt was able to secure enough new timber to add a second shift to its operations creating work for 50 people.

In total, five sawmills have closed permanently, another four are on indefinite hiatus and as of Nov. 29, and nine more were on curtailment.

Read More.


Check mark

Ontario Unveils Forestry Sector Strategy for 2020

The strategy is a compilation of the feedback gathered from industry, community and Indigenous leaders during roundtable discussions held across the province in 2018 and 2019, as well as from surveys and emailed submissions.

The government is now taking the document to the street for consultation with Ontarians by digitally posting it on the Environmental Registry.

The commenting period closes Feb. 5, and the final strategy is scheduled to come out sometime in Spring 2020.

Read More.


Dimensional Lumber


The continued feeling of more regional demand and pockets of activity prevails. Caution should be exercised as your own individual market may be tracking on a slightly different course than what is being represented in the overall market and with random print.

We are not seeing a buildup of material at Western Canadian mills, leading us to believe that the supply side balance is being struck. Mills are using that to hold numbers firm even though sales may not be as robust as we’ve seen in the past.


Mill lists are still spotty. Some mills are showing reasonable availability for prompt 2x4 #2&btr material. Others are showing a 1 to 2-week order files. Availability on specific lengths is stronger in 10’ and 12’. There is still a reasonable premium on 16’, while 18’ and 20’ #2&btr are showing strong numbers as well.


It continues to be challenging to source specific 2x6 products. Tallies from certain mills are broken out and heavy on some of the less ideal lengths, specifically when it comes to 8’ and 14’. The 16’ material continues to be in high demand as many consumers are looking for tallies heavy on that size, but it is still difficult to find those lengths.

2x8 & 2x10

Similarly to last week, 2x8 and 2x10 are spotty at the mills with plenty of broken tallies. We are seeing demand weakened but supply seems to be reasonably balanced with not much of a buildup of material anywhere. Exercise caution specifically on 2x8 16’, which remains lean on mill offerings.


We saw reasonable volume levels on 2x12 at a couple of mills last week. Following that production schedule, 2x12 tends to be used fairly quickly and we don’t see many offerings for a couple of weeks until the next run session. At the moment, there appears to be reasonable availability.


The stud market has flattened out over the last few weeks. It looks like there may be continued pressure on 2x6 92s with a lack of availability. There is still a costing difference between stud grade 104s and #2&btr, leading some yards to question whether they should carry 2 trims. In the past, many yards have been content to go with just the #2&btr studs to satisfy all their needs. If the price gap continues, it may force consumers to question it further.

MSR Lumber

MSR 2x6 leads the way on tightness in availability. In some markets, 2x4 1650 is a viable option as compared to #2&btr. This has not been the case for the past few months but that gap has been narrowing between 2x4 #2&btr and 2x4 1650.

Items to watch are still 2x4 and 2x6 longs, as well as all 2x6 MSR, which remain fairly tight. With limited producers of 2x8 MSR, giving yourself as much lead time on that is still beneficial. We continue to have most lengths and grades of MSR available for prompt shipment out of our inventory locations.

Panel Products


The panel market over the past couple of weeks has quieted after the activity in OSB that pushed numbers up.


Mills are showing a mixed order file, depending on shipment type. Rail cars have pushed into the second week of January, while vans are into the first week of January, and Super-Bs are into the last week of December. With that said, it feels like it is the product of seasonality, some trucking issues, and car availability through the last 2 weeks of December that have been the catalyst to push order files out, rather than strong robust sales. There have been sales reported, trying to stay ahead of the curve, but we anticipate flatness again this week in plywood. Consumers are not seeing much need to step in at this point.


We saw print slide slightly on last week's Random Length Print. Perhaps it’s one of the first cracks but we have just bumped up against order files at one of the big mills in Western Canada. We are expecting some downside here as takeaway has eased with the wintery weather taking hold of much of the Canadian West, as well as the North-Central states in the US.

Supply has balanced off against demand for the most part, despite the lack of takeaway over the last couple of weeks. We are expecting some downward movement but it should stabilize and hold near these levels as we look forward to January shipments.

We will keep a close eye on this one.

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


Winter weather has taken a tight grip in much of North America. At the very least, the threat is upon us to see potential weather patterns that will slow down consumption for large swaths of the market.

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