Under the terms of the MOU, effective immediately, the SLB and USDA will expand a public-private partnership that seeks to grow demand for wood products as natural climate solutions. The organizations will jointly explore and coordinate additional market development, research, technological advances, and other activities to expand the use of wood in the built environment.
The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (9-23-21) the Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. in August. According to the report, the LEI for the U.S. increased by 0.9% in August to 117.1 (2016 = 100), following a 0.8% increase in July and a 0.6% increase in June.
Vietnam is reporting the wood and wood product (W&WP) exports during the first seven months of 2021 reached US$9.26 billion, up 54% year-over-year (July 2020 to July 2021). Vietnam imported US$1.81 billion of W&WP in the first 7 months of 2021, up 39% against the same period of 2020.
Freddie Mac has released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending September 23, 2021. The PMMS reports that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% with an average 0.7 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.86%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.90%.
The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that an additional 351,000 Americans made their initial filing for unemployment benefits during the week ending on Saturday, September 18, 2021. This is an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
A deal between South Pacific Shipping (SPS) and Oldendorff Carriers has been finalized. “A Post-Panamax will carry underdeck twice the volume of a conventional logger but will not require any fumigation by Methyl Bromide as no logs will be carried on deck.”
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported that total existing home sales — which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — declined -2.0% from July to a seasonally adjusted rate at 5.88 million homes in August. Year-over-year sales are down -1.5% (5.97 million August 2020).
Sawmill operators have always operated in a supply and demand market. Currently, however, they are dealing with another and somewhat unfamiliar supply and demand problem: the lack of insurance companies willing to write policies covering their property, as well as business interruption insurance.
According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Application Survey (WMAS), for the week ending September 17, 2021, the Market Composite Index — a measure of mortgage loan application volume — increased 4.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 16% compared with the previous week.
Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported on Tuesday (9-21-21) that in August new house prices in Canada rose 0.7% month-over-month and are up year-over-year 12.2%. The latest increase continues the series of gains that began in May of 2020.