US lumber markets price volatility

22 February 2017

US lumber markets are seeing some major price volatility, according to market research company International Wood Markets Group Inc.

Wood Markets said W-SPF lumber prices soared by 25% (US$78/Mbf) in the three-week period between January 27 and February 17, 2017 and up US$83/Mbf over the previous five-week period.

“This three-week price increase in US lumber prices is one of the largest short-term gains over the past 20 years,” it said.

The situation mirrors a similar scenario back in early 2001 when countervailing duties (CVD) on Canadian lumber shipments into the US moved into their 90-day retroactive period in mid-May 2001 and the anti-dumping duties (ADD) followed later. The initial combined duties of 32.3% were both in effect in November, 2001.

The largest US lumber price spike ever, based on price changes in consecutive weeks, was in 2001 - before the implementation of the last US duties - when lumber prices spiked higher by US$165/Mbf over a 7-week period. This was followed by two major price collapses over the next six months.