Lumber Demand Builds Despite Skyrocketing Prices


This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Kennison Forest Products, the premier provider of scaffold planks for over 30 years.

Hello again. This week we’re going to take a look at sourcing for Lumber by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this category is up 11 percent over its historical average.

Our firmographic buyer data shows that the three top industries driving this sourcing trend on our platform are Agriculture/Landscaping, Construction, and Government/Military.

While the platform features U.S. and Canadian suppliers exclusively, our data shows this sourcing trend being driven by U.S. buyers looking for U.S. suppliers. This, despite the fact that earlier this year, lumber prices skyrocketed over 60 percent since the early part of 2017. According to CNBC, this price surge was due in part to a perfect storm of challenges that hit Canadian suppliers – challenges including tree-eating beetles, wildfires, a trucking and railcar shortage, and U.S. tariffs. While a recovering housing market in early 2018 seemed to be a key driver behind the demand for lumber, recent government data shows that housing starts unexpectedly cooled significantly in June, while lumber futures prices dropped to their lowest point since December 2017. It bears watching to see if this slowdown narrows the supply gap buyers and suppliers have been dealing with. 

In addition to the broader category of Lumber, our data also shows that sourcing activity for five related categories is up month-over-month on our platform. These categories include Hardwood Lumber, Kiln Dried Lumber, Southern Yellow Pine Lumber, Pine Lumber, and Fire Retardant Treated Lumber.

Moving on from wood products, here’s a look at the top ten industrial product and service categories being sourced on the platform over the past four weeks:

  1. Steel
  2. CNC Machining
  3. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
  4. Injection Molded Plastics
  5. Lumber
  6. Metal Fabrication
  7. Tube Fabrication & Bending Services
  8. Plastic Bottles
  9. Corrugated Boxes
  10. Fasteners

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Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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