The average price for the benchmark grade of western spruce-pine-fir 2x4 #2&Btr KD (RL) on the US sawn-softwood market has been fluctuating around the US$500/1,000 bdft mark for a good ten weeks now. After the price had still been US$505-555 in September, the figure published by Madison’s Lumber fell briefly to US$445 in October but then rose again to US$490 at the beginning of November. This represents a 21% reduction in price compared to last year. The latest stabilisation is regarded as mainly attributable to the cuts in output announced by various Canadian sawmilling groups. Western Forest Products (WFP) had also announced only a short while ago that it is planning to suspend sawn-softwood production at its Alberni Pacific (APD) sawmill for six months.
The CME Group’s latest lumber futures of around US$445 for November are well below the current contract prices but have not yet been backed up with volumes.