Hardwood lumber prices continued to increase.


Softwood lumber prices drop by 5% in May amid broader PPI decline

Softwood lumber prices drop by 5% in May amid broader PPI decline

Bild: Depositphotos

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand dropped 0.2% in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This follows a 0.5% rise in April and a slight 0.1% dip in March. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand rose 2.2% over the past 12 months. The May decline mainly stemmed from a 0.8% decrease in final demand goods, while prices for final demand services remained unchanged​​.

The softwood lumber prices fell sharply by 5.0% in May, reversing a 5.7% increase in April. Compared to a year ago, softwood lumber prices have dropped 8.1%. Hardwood lumber prices rose by 0.9% in May, following a 1.7% increase in April, and are up 1.8% compared to last year. Millwork prices dropped by 0.6%, reversing a 0.3% rise in April, and are down 0.2% from a year ago. Plywood prices declined by 0.4% in May after a 1.3% increase in April, and are up 1.9% compared to the previous year​​.

In the paper sector, prices for paper increased by 0.7% in May, up from a 0.6% rise in April, and have risen 0.5% over the past year. Paperboard prices saw a smaller rise of 0.3% in May, compared to a 0.5% increase in April, but are down 1.6% from a year ago. Paper boxes and containers experienced a 0.8% price increase in May, following a 0.6% rise in April, and are down 2.0% year-over-year. However, building paper and board prices decreased by 5.6% in May after a substantial 17.6% increase in April, but are still up 20.6% compared to last year​​.

The broader PPI for intermediate demand displayed mixed results. Prices for processed goods for intermediate demand fell by 1.5%, marking the most significant drop since October 2023, while unprocessed goods prices decreased by 1.9%. These fluctuations highlight the ongoing instability in the lumber and paper products markets, reflecting both seasonal adjustments and broader economic factors​​.

The sharp decline in energy prices significantly impacted the overall PPI. Energy prices dropped by 4.8% in May, with gasoline prices falling by 7.1%. Diesel fuel, chicken eggs, electric power, jet fuel, and basic organic chemicals also saw price decreases. Conversely, cigarette prices rose by 3.3%, along with increases in hay, hayseeds, and oilseeds​​.