2% Jobless Claims Don’t Show Signs of Slowing But They Will

By April 2, 2020Lumber Market

The current population of the United States of America is 330,525,877 as of Thursday, April 2, 2020, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. the United States 2020 population is estimated at 331,002,651 people at mid-year according to UN data.

2% of our country’s population will have filed for unemployment benefits by the end of the week. Or, 6.6 million people who are eligible for those benefits. This is a staggering number and none of which we’ve ever experienced in this country. Or, any country. Ever.

The number of US COVID-19 related deaths is said to rival those of major historical wars.

What does this mean for the Forest and Lumber industries? Analysts and experts say the global forest products markets is likely to recover after a sharp decline in mid-2020.

Right now with mills announcing lumber production will be curtailed by approximately/up to 40%, over a multi-week period, it’s a grim short term outlook. U.S. operations: Canfor Southern Pine, for example, will be taking a series of actions to reduce operating capacity by approximately 40% or 50 million board feet over a four-week period. The capacity reductions will be achieved through the implementation of variable shift schedules and reduced operating hours across the southern pine mills.

However, as we’ve seen in the past, this too shall pass. How long this lull lasts and what the second half of 2020 brings for our industry, it’s too soon to tell. There are too many variables at play today. But, if the indicators prior to COVID-19 mandated shelter-in-place orders and other local quarantine restrictions are our silver lining, then we can only hope the recovery is relatively swift. The reality is home building and demand for inventory in affluent areas will continue to pull the market back towards recovery. We can only hope it’s enough to spark wider consumer confidence. Stimulus packages and incentives will set forth more attainable/affordable homes and people will get back to work. Including lumber workers across the entire supply chain.

Right now, the front lines are being drawn and battled by our medical professionals. They will once again be at the heart of the raw materials supply chain to get a healthier America back up and running.

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