The composite southern yellow pine lumber price has continued to drop since the late-April announcement of US tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. Aside from the countervailing duties discussed in this announcement, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) recently released an “affirmative preliminary determination” about separate anti-dumping duties that could also be imposed on imports of Canadian softwood lumber pending a final determination in early September.
Lumber prices are falling as US housing starts continue to struggle despite encouraging data from 1Q2017; starts were down 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1,092,000 units in May. Single-family starts accounted for 794,000 units, which is 3.9 percent below the revised April figure of 826,000. Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment also fell in May, declining 9.7 percent to a rate of 298,000 units, which now makes five straight months of declines for this segment.
The composite southern yellow pine lumber price for week 25 was at $379/mbf, which is down from week 24’s $385/mbf mark. Week 25’s price is just 0.3 percent above its January 2017 starting point of $378/mbf, and 1.8 percent below the 2016 week 25 price of $386/mbf.