2-7 IAT Lumber Greenhouses
Forest Products -- Volatility in pricing and demand continues in the forest products industry. Competition between domestic mills and export buyers is driving log prices higher. In areas of the Northwest, log prices exceed levels associated with the height of the housing boom. In the lumber and panel markets, mills have experienced periods of strong price increases followed by steep downward corrections. This volatility complicates management decisions, particularly in an environment of rising log costs. U.S. fiber consumption is expected to grow in 2014, driven primarily by increases in housing starts. However, price volatility is expected to continue, fueled by changes in supply chain inventory levels and mill capacity utilization.
Nursery/Greenhouse -- Market conditions for nursery producers continue to improve. Industry consolidation and shortages in some varieties of plant material mean fewer producers are supplying traditional buyers. Adverse winter weather conditions across the nation also impact the supply of and demand for plant material this spring. Increasing housing starts bode well for sales of plant material moving into 2014 and beyond. Northwest nursery producers continue to report early bookings from buyers who are uncertain about product availability next spring and are willing to accept price increases.