Lumber suppliers share 2018 outlook at LMC Expo
Attendees of the LMC Forest Products and Building Materials Expo in Philadelphia Wednesday heard a consistent message from suppliers: Demand will be up in 2018, and supply won’t be up as much.
Three major suppliers—LP Building Products, J.D. Irving, and Weyerhaeuser—each had a similar message to dealers looking to start their winter buys and forecast for the coming year.
Christian Gilbert, Spruce Sales Manager from J.D. Irving said that industry experts anticipate 100,000 more housing starts, bringing total 2018 starts to a projected 1.28 million. That increase in demand is expected to be 10%, he said, but supply will see only a 1.4% increase.
Jim Abbott, Director, OSB/EWP Sales for LP Building Products, and Wendy Minichiello, Sales Director – West Region and National Builders at Weyerhaeuser shared similar sentiment. With housing market demand, OSB sales are trending up, but supply will create a volatile OSB market in 2018.
The Softwood Lumber Agreement between the U.S. and Canada will play a role in pricing going into 2018. Gilbert told the dealers in attendance to watch for coming deadlines from a U.S. Department of Commerce ruling on Nov. 15, followed by a December International Trade Commission statement that will issue a final ruling on the contentious issue.
The LMC Expo continues through Oct. 26.