Weekly Roundup: Improved softwood lumber trade, June consumer confidence, & more

Weekly Roundup: Improved softwood lumber trade, June consumer confidence, & more

July 2, 2019

Supplier Insider is a weekly roundup of the latest news and insights relevant to construction suppliers.

Softwood lumber global trade increases in Q1 2019

Global trade for softwood lumber reached 120 million cubic meters in 2018 and has continued to increase in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. CFI

  • The largest percentage increases in softwood lumber trade was observed in Ukraine, Russia, Chile, Germany, and the US.
  • The US has suffered a four-year low in lumber prices early in the year but it slowly picked up in the spring. Q1 prices, however, were still significantly lower than the first quarter values in 2018.
  • Lumber exports in Russia has been on the rise since 2017. Lumber imports in China also rose in the first quarter of 2019, mainly because of lumber shipments from Russia and Canada.

Consumer Confidence Index dips in June

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) declined to 121.5 in June, according to the New York-based Conference Board. HBSDealer

  • June’s CCI value is the lowest CCI value reported since September 2017.
  • The Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index also fell from 170.7 to 162.6 and from 105.0. to 94.0, respectively.
  • The Present Situation Index is based on consumer’s evaluation of current business and economic trends, while the Expectations Index is based on consumer’s short-term outlook on labor market conditions.
  • “The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

70% of Americans support solar panel initiative: survey

Majority of Americans would support a nationwide mandate to use solar panels as the main energy source in newly built homes, according to a survey by CITE Research. Builder Online

  • Significant others and environmental experts were found to be the most influential people when deciding whether to install solar panels in their homes or not.
  • The 25-34 age bracket expressed the strongest support to impose a national mandate on solar panels. People over the age of 65 were found to be the least likely to support the mandate.
  • So far only the state of California has passed a mandate on solar panels and the rule will take effect in 2020.