Widman’s Market Direction

Several combining factors have left the lumber market without direction for the past couple of weeks. Delayed housing stats from the U.S. government following its record-setting shutdown, far-reaching weather issues, and plenty of persistent nightmares about the tremendous rise-and-fall of prices in 2018 have forced many buyers to sit back with a “you go first” attitude. A wayward futures market has not helped. But as the calendar shows, March is essentially here and spring is essentially here. The more buyers hold out, the more pent-up demand grows. Starts will improve as the Census Bureau catches up, production cuts will be felt and transportation issues will not likely improve. So unless buyers have no need of wood for two months, many will be feeling a sense of panic when the time comes to actually jump back into the market next month.