Monday, May 20, 2013

Lumber Prices decline Sharply over last month

by Bill McBride on 5/20/2013 01:12:00 PM

Just over a month ago I mentioned that lumber prices were nearing the housing bubble highs. Since then prices have declined sharply, with prices off about 20% from the recent highs.

Some of the decline could be related to additional supply coming on the market, and some due to less buying from China (several sources are reporting that China has pulled back significantly on buying North American lumber).

On additional supply, two months ago the WSJ had an article about some producers increasing supply:

Georgia-Pacific, the largest U.S. producer of plywood ... plans to invest about $400 million over the next three years to boost softwood plywood and lumber capacity by 20%.
Lumcber PricesClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows two measures of lumber prices (not plywood): 1) Framing Lumber from Random Lengths through last week (via NAHB), and 2) CME framing futures.

Lumber prices are now 20% off the recent highs.