Lake States Inventory Level Issues and their Causes

Posted by Fred Souba

Mill inventory issues are nothing new in the Lake States. Forest2Market has been tracking fiber inventories and benchmarking prices in the Lake States for nearly three years. Over this time, the data shows that maintaining adequate system-wide inventories has been difficult across all species and products. As a result, price has increased significantly, making the Lake States the highest wood cost region in North America. The seasonality of wood supply in the region is the most significant factor mills take into consideration when planning for a consistent supply. While the specific inventory plan at each mill depends on a variety of other factors as well, the wood production system must not only generate a sufficient volume of supply, but the timing of the volume coming to market is also critical.

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Topics: Lake States Log Inventories

The Impending Wood Fiber Supply Shortage in Mato Grosso do Sul

Posted by Marcelo Schmid

In the last ten years, Mato Grosso do Sul’s forest sector has seen unprecedented growth. In 2005, the state had approximately 150,000 hectares of forest plantations; currently, plantation areas cover 820,000 hectares, accounting for an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent.

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Topics: Wood supply in Brazil

Super-Cycle Falters as Northwest Log Prices Soften in 1H2015

Posted by Gordon Culbertson

Mirroring what has become a worldwide trend, the Pacific Northwest forest products industry has not lived up to predictions for a 2015 “super-cycle”—a forecasted period of unprecedented growth in demand and prices for US lumber and logs resulting from high housing start projections (1.5 million annually), declining Canadian shipments and sizeable demand from China. Modest improvements have occurred in some peripheral markets. However, while western softwood lumber production is up slightly over 2014, Northwest log prices are well below what they were a year ago, largely because US housing starts are still relatively flat at an annualized rate of just over 1 million.

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Topics: Pacific Northwest Log Markets

The Millennial Generation: Part II–Perspective, Preferences & Housing

Posted by John Greene

Since the latter half of the 20th century, generations of Americans have been loosely associated with certain defining trends or historical events that highlighted their particular moments in the limelight. The Greatest Generation is identified with its unwavering sacrifices made during WWII; Baby Boomers embody the post-war population explosion and the components that comprise the archetypal American dream—sprawl, consumerism, and freedom; Generation X came of age during the 1980s and is aptly coined the “MTV Generation” as they were the first to grow up with (or, on) cable TV. Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation, is routinely identified by its dependence on all things technological and, while this characterization is accurate to some degree, it only offers a shortsighted snapshot into the largest generation of Americans in history. Rather, Millennials possess a keen ability to prioritize and innovate that has been defined in large part by a single event: The Great Recession of 2008.

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Topics: Consumer Trends

USDA Report: Biobased Products Boost Economy, Incentives Foster Growth

Posted by John Greene

Last month, we reported on the continued evolution of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) at both the political and practical levels. While Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently disclosed proposed renewable fuels volumes through 2016, some feel that the numbers will not be sufficient to drive long-term growth in the renewables sector. However, the USDA recently announced changes to the 2014 Farm Bill that will create new growth opportunities for organizations involved in renewable resources by expanding the BioPreferred® program. The agency also issued a detailed report and accompanying news release that illustrate the monetary benefit the larger biobased products industry has on the American economy, and the numbers are quite compelling.

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Topics: Biobased Products

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