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January 10, 2020

Forecast: Global lumber demand trends in 2020

Forecast: Global lumber demand trends in 2020

Many in the industry will not remember 2019 positively. Simply put, most global markets were awash in wood, and all major producing regions searched valiantly – but with limited success – for outlets to move their product. Consequently, most major importing countries have been sitting on above-average lumber inventories for much of the year, with the net result being low prices and red ink for producers, importers and exporters. One question frequently gets asked of us: “Why were the industry and market results so bad in 2019 and was there any way to predict this?”

Many reasons have been offered up about the soft markets in 2019 in the U.S., China and other key regions. However, we present one scenario here that broadly assesses global softwood lumber consumption trends over the years to see if some obvious results start to show up. (Spoiler alert: they do!)

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