International lumber prices are surging again, and private sellers of wood in New Brunswick say that’s been helping them get better prices for their softwood logs. In Maine.
International lumber prices are surging again and private sellers of wood in New Brunswick say that’s been helping them get better prices for their softwood logs. In Maine.
Linda Bell, the general manager of the Carleton-Victoria Forest Products Marketing Board in Florenceville, N.B., said prices being paid for saw logs at mills across the border are up to 70 per cent higher than in New Brunswick. That makes the longer hauling distances and increased paperwork required to serve U.S. mills worthwhile, she said.
“What we’re seeing in Maine is is an increased demand and increased pricing,” said Bell, who estimated a quarter of softwood cut by private sellers in her area is now leaving the province.
“The price of lumber is up and their markets are really good.”
Prices for lumber in North America have almost tripled since August and are nearing record levels set last spring.
A series of shocks to lumber supplies, including historic flooding in British Columbia in November and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have taken turns roiling markets.
Russia is a significant global exporter of softwood lumber.
Much of its trade is with China, but tightening sanctions on Russia have “goosed” nervous lumber markets that were already elevated, according to wood product analyst Dustin Jalbert, who is with the online commodity price reporting service fastmarkets.com.
“Russia is probably the largest softwood timber resource on the planet and there’s a lot of lumber production,” Jalbert said in an interview.
“This Russia Ukraine situation is only adding to the fear out in the marketplace that there’s not going to be enough building material suppl