Lumber prices shot higher this week, reaching the highest price in over 18 months, spurred on by a stronger housing market.
On Wednesday, the US Commerce Department released figures showing that new home construction in September reached an annualized rate of 872,000, the highest figure in over four years.
Lumber rallied over $20 +7% per thousand board feet this week, reaching $318.70 on Friday morning.
Despite the recent rebound in housing activity, annual housing starts are still down sharply from their peak above 2,000,000 during 2004-2006. Likewise, lumber prices are still depressed compared to their 2004 high of over $460.
Cotton prices rallied to a five-month high on Thursday on news that cotton held in the ICE exchange warehouses had reached a 17-year low. This occurred as a result of generally low supplies and low-quality cotton being rejected by the exchange. Cotton prices rose almost 8 cents per pound +11%, to 79.19 cents during the week.