Softwood lumber prices have been strengthening in 2012 and producers are expected to report healthy third-quarter financial results. U.S. data for the month of August shows new housing starts at an annual rate of 750,000, up 12.8 per cent over August 2011 and up 2.3 per cent over July.
“From what we can see, this looks like a solid recovery,” Gerry Van Leeuwen, vice-president of the Vancouver research firm Wood Markets, said of the U.S. housing market. “The builders and the lumber dealers (in the U.S.) are pretty excited. They think this is for real; that the recovery is really happening.”
Lumber prices have recovered to the point that the softwood lumber export tax was reduced Oct. 1 from 10 per cent to five per cent. The tax fluctuates between 15 per cent at a composite lumber price below $315 US a thousand board feet and zero at $355. The composite price is now $341, well within the five-per-cent range, and has remained above $300 since June.
Via B.C. sawmills are humming again – The Vancouver Sun