The forest products industry is complex and hyper-changeable. To successfully play in this universe, you need advice, data, and an overview from an unbiased, details-obsessed, independent source. Economic forecasts, lumber, timber, panels, mass timber and engineered wood products – this is FEA.
If a tree falls in the forest, we not only hear it – we follow it, analyze it and track it.
Whatever’s happening along the forest supply chain, from planting to felling to final use, we’re watching it, regionally, nationally, internationally. FEA people seek out every forestry detail, are obsessed with economics, trends and providing clients with deeply-rooted advice that informs their important decisions.
Why we’re here
We formed FEA when we recognized a need in the industry for impartial, exhaustive analysis, accessible data and customized consulting. FEA analysts come from all areas of the timber industry – when they talk, industry listens.
FEA markets our knowledge and data through analytical products that cover the forest product industry. These include Monthly Advisors and newsletters for near-term analysis, the Quarterly Forecasting Service for a longer-term outlook and an extensive historical database, as well as the industry's only comprehensive, up-to-date, mill-level capacity reports, categorized by sector.
Fannie Mae today released its Home Purchase Sentiment Index® for July. The HPSI dropped 2.0 points to a reading of 62.8, its lowest level since 2011 and well below the all-time high that was set in 2019. Only 17% of respondents in the survey thought it was a good time to buy a home.
The State of Michigan has approximately 4 million acres of state-owned forestland. That is more than any other state in the US. These forestlands and their trees are now at the center of a new industry: forest carbon markets.
In an effort to decarbonize and revitalize urban construction, Australia’s skylines may soon feature timber skyscrapers up to 50-stories tall. The proposed timber skyscraper buildings are made possible by using a hybrid construction and engineered mass timber around a concrete core.
CME Group Inc. plans to replace its lumber futures contract with a smaller version that will be deliverable to Chicago rather than Western Canada, following two volatile years that lifted prices to record highs. This new truckload-size contract will be a quarter the volume of the current lumber futures, and is designed to attract more buyers and sellers to the market. The new physically delivered futures and accompanying options contracts are set to launch Aug. 8, pending regulatory approval from Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Sanctions on Russia, including the ban on using the SWIFT money transfer system, will severely limit its ability to participate in international trade, but the impacts to its softwood log and lumber trade are likely to be less affected than other industries.
Over half of Russia’s softwood lumber trade and three-quarters of its softwood log trade is with China (graphs below). China has not imposed sanctions on Russia and has payment systems independent from the SWIFT system. Only ocean shipments from St. Petersburg, which account for around 25% of China’s total volume from Russia, are traded with letters of credit based in US dollars. Some contracts have already been changed to Chinese RMB payments, however trade from Northwest Russia is likely to suffer some in the coming months.
Over the 15 months—since North America’s economies hit their pandemic-induced bottoms—much discussion in the wood products industry has centred on access to employees. Producers of solid wood products were particularly challenged to meet the demand from builders and DIYers, resulting in record-high prices for finished goods. Of course, 2020 was not just the year of the pandemic: It also saw a record number of hurricanes in the South, record fires in the West, and social unrest nationwide. What a year!
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