Montana based sawmills are reporting that sawlog prices are reaching close to historic levels. F.H. Stoltze Land and Resource Manager Paul McKenzie in an interview with the Flathead Beacon newspaper said, “The product demand has increased dramatically in general forest products.”
According to data released on Thursday (10/29) the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (CCI), a weekly measure of U.S. consumer confidence, fell to a reading of 46.3 last week on a zero to 100 scale.
Dealers responding to FEA’s Weekly Order Survey noted a slight uptick in their jobsite sales activity. As the calendar moves into November, builders, especially in the northern tier, are rushing to get jobsites under roof and prepared for the onset of more winterlike weather.
In October, American consumers became more concerned about their prospects for employment, incomes and the economy. As a result, consumer confidence suddenly pulled back in October.
According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, increasing demand and limited availability caused home prices to increase at a reported 5.7% annual gain in August, up from 4.8% in the previous month.
US retailers are stocking up for what they hope will be an outstanding holiday season. This despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment numbers continue to edge higher. And, as of yet, no additional economic stimulus or increased unemployment benefits coming from Congress.
Wood pellet plants have long relied on sawmill residue as their source of fiber. However, recent mill closures due to weak lumber prices and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with pests and wildfires have all negatively impacted pellet plants ability to source from their typical fiber sources.
Despite recent declines from record breaking high levels, forest product market experts anticipate prices for lumber and panels will remain strong throughout North America for the next several years. The demand for building products will be led by both new construction and home renovation as tight inventory and aging existing homes, along with low interest rates and untapped home equity.
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) /Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) indicates that builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes advanced 2-points in October, to a new all-time high reading of 85.
Dealers responding to FEA’s Weekly Order Survey continue to report their sales to builders as slow but steady. The morning chill in the air has builders working diligently to get projects under roof and ready for interior work.