Lumber news worth reading…
May 21, 2020 in Lumber Market

Jobless Claims Still Elevated But Declining

First-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 2.44 million last week, about in line with economist estimates. Total filings from the beginning of the pandemic now total 38.6 million. The good news is that that the total has fallen for seven straight weeks from its record peak. We continue to see a decline as the nation reopens but fear of a second wave, uncertainty around testing, a vaccine, and contradictory medical advice still has many on edge. Plus, the level of continuing claims is a clear indication of how unemployment is…
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May 12, 2020 in Housing Starts, Lumber Market

Dealers Continue To Report Steady Sales Into May

The FEA has completed another survey and the results are encouraging. As per the FEA: "Many dealers are reporting that their first week of May sales are remaining slow but steady, very similar to where April sales left off. The reopening of jobsites in states that have been shuttered to slow the spread of COVID-19, is adding additional sales momentum. A few jobs remain on hold, but thus far the number of cancelations remain a small fraction of ongoing and anticipated building projects. Lumber and panel producers are reporting an…
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May 7, 2020 in Product Features

Why Sales and Marketing Can’t Go Back to Business As Usual

After Q1 2020, Digital Transformation Is No Longer An Option. If you're wondering if life will go back to "normal" on the trading floors... you're wrong. Now is not the time to retreat back to selling the “old” way. Now is the time for bold leadership in sales and marketing. This piece from Forbes captures what so many mills and distributors are challenged with today. The entire premise behind developing BuyChain is collaboration, accelerating sales, and helping the entire supply chain. You need to jump-start your digital transformation and if…
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May 3, 2020 in Lumber Market

Weekend Read – About 46 Percent of Hard Wood Production Goes To What May Be The Most Important Piece of the Global Economy

Perspective has a way of defining a fact differently for many people. Although the article may be a little dated, yet still relevant, these items are a staple of commerce and slowly (very slowly and likely not as economical in the long run) being phased out for a greener alternative. Until then, the shipping pallet will forever hold a critical place in commerce, as well as in people's living rooms. Pallets, the unassuming collection of wooden slats, are perhaps the most important thing in our global economy. Read on...
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April 30, 2020 in Housing Starts, Lumber Market

Unemployment Claims Top 30 Million in U.S.

Another 3.8 million file unemployment claims, overwhelming the states. The chaos continues with a decline in weekly numbers but still staggering. The American economy continues to stagger under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, with another 3.8 million workers filing for unemployment benefits last week. The figures announced Thursday by the Labor Department bring the number of workers joining the official jobless ranks in the last six weeks to more than 30 million, and underscore just how dire economic conditions remain. Many state agencies still find themselves overwhelmed by the…
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April 29, 2020 in Existing Home Sales, Housing Starts, Lumber Market

Mortgage Rates Hit a New Record Low Sparking Recovery in Home Buying Applications

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.43% from 3.45% last week. That boosted mortgage demand from homebuyers by 12%, signaling a potential turn in buyer confidence. Mortgage applications to buy a home rose last week, but refinance demand fell, causing total application volume to decline by 3.3% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Evidence is mounting that homebuyers may be coming back to the market, after demand plummeted in the past month due to the coronavirus. Mortgage applications to…
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April 28, 2020 in Existing Home Sales, Housing Starts, Lumber Market

Q1 Housing Trend Report Says 10% Fewer Americans Plan On Buying

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) latest Housing Trends Report (HTR) reveals that the share of adults who are thinking about purchasing a new home within the next 12-months decline by 10% in the first quarter of 2020. This is the lowest first quarter reading in three years. This decline is also the sixth consecutive year-over-year drop in the share of those planning to buy a home in the year ahead. For a majority of these buyers ~61% this will be their first time buying a home.
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April 25, 2020 in Lumber Market

Weekend Read – American Lumberman Photo Exhibit

The History Center, located in Diboll, TX, has a historical reference of photographic plates and photos of American Lumberman and the technology used in our industry's rich history. It's a nostalgic view of American ingenuity, craftsmanship, and noble beginnings. From the exhibit: The American Lumberman Photographic Collection contains more than 300 vintage prints made by American Lumberman photographers during visits to Diboll, Texas, in 1903 and 1907. Many of the images appeared in American Lumberman issues of 16 April 1904 and 18 January 1908. The collection of images and photographer's…
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