Nov Dec, 2003





Association News

Demand, Production, and Prices Strong
According to the Engineered Wood Association (APA), lumber markets showed surprising strength during the first part of November, as demand continued to support full production. While spruce-pine-fir prices were mixed ó higher in the East, lower in the West ó and Douglas fir was flat overall, southern pine and Inland species (such as Hem-fir and Ponderosa pine) recorded some gain in most items.
"Key indicator" prices are substantially higher than one year ago. For instance, KD 2x4 Western S-P-F is about 27 percent higher than a year ago. Green Douglas fir prices are reported at various levels, but in general this benchmark is about 10 percent higher than a year ago.
These higher prices are good news for Western region producers because orders and production are at or above year-ago levels. As well, production is running about 8 percent ahead of the five-year baseline average, and orders are 13 percent higher, according to the Western Wood Products Association.

FRA Recognizes Thomas and MacMillan
The Forest Resources Associationís (FRA) Western Division awarded Montanaís Craig Thomas its regionís pro-forestry activism award

John Lebvre congratulates for 2003. He was con-Carol and Robert MacMillan gratulated for his with crosscut plaque.

numerous efforts to support wise, sustainable forest management in the Northern Rockies.
Thomas says that Montanaís 2000 wildfire season changed his life. A career forester after graduating from the University of Montana in the 1970s, Thomas volunteered as a wildfire fighter for over a month that summer. When he saw the loss of wildlife habitat, healthy watershed and property, he realized he needed to speak out loudly, repeatedly and clearly on behalf of sound forest management at every opportunity.
The FRA also recognized Robert and Carol MacMillan of MacMillan and Company, Montesano, Wash., as its Western Division Outstanding Logger for 2003. They received a cash prize and a new Stihl chain saw.
Highlighting Robertís achievements, FRA Western Division Chairman, John Lefebvre of Weyerhaeuser, noted the highly respected quiet management style with his employees and his commitment to safety. Robert began working in the woods in 1971. In 1983 he started his own company, and weathered the downturns of the industry a decade later to develop his current company, which now operates up to five sides with 20 employees.

NWPA Awarded Grant for Small Wood
NWPA has been selected and awarded a grant to conduct an R&D study on the utilization and usability of small diameter lodgepole pine in value-added manufacturing. This grant is being awarded through the U.S. Forest Service as part of the National Fire Plan. Lodgepole pine material will be tested for furniture components, edge-glued panels and other products where lodgepole can be used as an alternative fiber.
New APA Officers Elected
John Murphy, plywood general manager at Murphy Plywood of Sutherlin, Ore., and Ron Salisbury, manager of Potlatch Corporationís Grand Rapids, Minn. OSB facility, were elected recently as chairman and vice chairman of the APA Board of Trustees.

NTEA Forecasts an Upswing in 2004
This fall, six leading U.S. economists at the NTEA (National Truck Equipment Association) 2004 Economic Outlook Conference had positive things to report on growth in the upcoming year. And all agreed that commercial truck and transportation equipment would be a part of that growth.
"The speakers indicated that the economic expansion actually began late last year, but growth was slow until recently and the labor market has yet to catch up," reported Steven Latin-Kasper, NTEA Market Data & Research Director. The economists added that they saw the demand for labor increasing in the second quarter of 2004.

WWPA Predicts Modest Decline in Lumber Demand in 2004
WWPA (Western Wood Products Association) foresees a mild slowdown in new home construction and repair and remodeling expenditures in 2004, reducing U.S. lumber demand.
WWPA predicts U.S. lumber consumption will decline
1.8 percent to 55.7 billion board feet in 2004. Despite the pull back, volume used will be the third highest on record. Lumber demand in 2003 is expected to reach an all-time high of 56.7 billion board feet.
"The housing sector has been a bright spot of the U.S. economy the past few years, fueling unprecedented demand for lumber products," says WWPA President Michael OíHalloran. "Itís clear that wood remains the top choice for building and remodeling homes for American families. While activity will be slower in 2004, we foresee another year of strong demand for Western lumber products."


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This page was last updated on Tuesday, September 28, 2004