Lakes States Lumber Association Newsletter
Letter From President - Pete Johnson
There has been a great deal of speculation and anticipation as to what the lumber markets will look like as we move deeper into 2022.
First, in speaking with many of you, the long winter season resulted in favorable log inventories to sustain production through spring break up.
Second, the lumber markets remain strong at this time. While labor and materials costs are high (and in short supply) and interest rates begin to creep up, the demand for housing continues. People want to take advantage of the low interest rate environment and contractors are busier than ever with many booking out for a year and beyond for new home construction.
Third, the Governor of Wisconsin signed in to law extended routes for Michigan configured trucks. With the cost of fuel and limited labor, we will now be able to haul more weight and gain efficiencies. This is a tremendous benefit to our industry and we must continue to advocate for additional routes as it helps us all.
Fourth, the war in the Ukraine has resulted in a significant disruption to the industry. With Russia being the largest exporter of lumber in the world, the sanctions imposed have resulted in wood products not being available at this time. This disruption may work in our favor by increasing demand for US products. However, the lack of Russian wood products could also cause consumers and other industries to seek alternative products, e.g., composite decking, luxury vinyl, etc. It is imperative that we continue to promote the benefits of wood products derived from sustainable forestry practices.
Fifth, with the purchase of Verso by the Swedish company BillerudKorsnas as of March 31, it will be interesting to see what the strategic direction of the company will be and how that direction will impact the forest products industry.
Sixth, will the efforts of the federal government to release oil from reserves result in lower fuel costs. We will have to wait and see what impact this will have. Let’s remain optimistic.
And finally, seventh, despite the calendar telling us that spring has arrived, there is significant speculation by the robins as to whether or not this true. The old saying is that once the robins arrive it will only snow three more times. By my count we are well beyond three snowfalls. What might you ask does the humble robin have to do with lumber industry? Despite being snowed on more than they should be this year, the robins are resilient. Just like our industry.
Granite Valley Forest Products
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