Tag Archives: Lumber & Wood Products

How Oregon Rivers Carried Millions Of Trees Into Production

How Oregon Rivers Carried Millions Of Trees Into Production . News | OPB.

Around the same time famed photographer Carelton Watkins first captured the Columbia River Gorge with his traveling darkroom, on the south fork of the Coos River in southwest Oregon a large dam helped fuel Oregon’s burgeoning timber industry.

The Tioga Dam was the largest splash dam in the Northwest. It was the first of what would grow to become 230 splash dams throughout western Oregon.

Let’s start big picture. From 1849-1924, Oregon produced over 47 billion board feet of lumber production, most of it hauled out on rivers. For context, trucks carried about 4 billion board feet lumber out of the woods on forest roads in 2014.

The Tioga Dam on the South Coos River towered 52 feet high and 200 feet wide.

Stephen Dow Beckham

In the past, ax men would cut down the towering trees and guide them into flooded rivers, which were controlled by splash dams. When ready, the splash dams opened and the wood rushed down in log drives. Workers would use dynamite to carve out natural objects in the way and clear backed up trees.

The river could carried off around a million board feet of timber in a single drive.

Oregon’s years of log drives ended with the Tioga, as the last standing splash dam in Oregon. Under pressure from the state and landowners, it closed in 1957. Workers burned it down in a night.

Many of the rivers changed by the log drives have healed over the past 70 years. But there are some lingering challenges.

Oregon Field Guide explores this history and what means now for some rivers in Oregon

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Rail Traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was up 5.7%

Weekly Rail traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was UP this week. Combined North America Rail Volume for the week is 6,158 UP by 5.7%. The four week moving average is 5,694 up by 7.9%. Week 4 cumulative total is 22,777 up by 7.9%.

 

This Graph shows the weekly average Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Rail Traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was up 5.7% 2013 week 4

This graph shows the Percentage change in Year-Over-Year of Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Rail Traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was up 5.7% 2013 week 4 yoy

From the Association American Railroads (AAR): AAR Reports Mixed Weekly Rail Traffic

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Rail Traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was up 21.7%

Weekly Rail traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was UP this week. Combined North America Rail Volume for the week is 6,307 UP by 21.7%. The four week moving average is  4,958 up by 6.5%. Week 3 cumulative total is 16,619 up by 8.7%.

 

This Graph shows the weekly average Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was up 21.7% 2013 week 3

This graph shows the Percentage change in Year-Over-Year of Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was up 21.7% 2013 week 3 yoy

From the Association American Railroads (AAR): AAR Reports Mixed Weekly Rail Traffic

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Rail Traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was UP 7.9%

Weekly Rail traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was UP this week. Combined North America Rail Volume for the week is 6,151 UP by 7.9%. The four week moving average is 4,949 up by 5.4%. Week 1 cumulative total is 10,312 up by 2.1%.

 

This Graph shows the weekly average Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was up 7.9% 2013 week 2

This graph shows the Percentage change in Year-Over-Year of Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was up 7.9% 2013 week 2 yoy

From the Association American Railroads (AAR): AAR Reports Mixed Weekly Rail Traffic

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Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was DOWN 5.5%

Weekly Rail traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was DOWN this week. Combined North America Rail Volume for the week is 4,161 down by 5.5%. The four week moving average is 4,996 up by 7.4%. Week 1 cumulative total is 4,161 down by 5.5%.

 

This Graph shows the weekly average Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was DOWN 5.5% 2013 week 1

This graph shows the Percentage change in Year-Over-Year of Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was DOWN 5.5% 2013 week 1 yoy

From the Association American Railroads (AAR): AAR Reports Mixed Weekly Rail Traffic

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Wood products & home construction bucks bad economy

Wood products & home construction bucks bad economy

January 8, 2013

By Rick Sohn, PhD
Umpqua Coqullie LLC

Continued strength in wood products and home construction, against a backdrop of a continued sluggish economy. Four-year market trends of lumber, logs, housing, and mortgage statistics are shown below.

chart-sohn-jan2013


Interpretation

Stud prices, and other wood building product prices, have been strengthening since October. Outside of a brief spike in 2012, the studs are the strongest since 2006. Their strength should be more sustainable this time. But log prices are also increasing, causing the manufacturers to comment. But no one is complaining too loudly about the improved business climate and volume of sales recovery, which is still in its infancy, at the still-historically low new construction rates. The recovery for manufacturers ranges from excellent to just fairly steady and cautious. Log prices are still historically low, but are rising quickly this winter. From what I have been hearing, I would guess that next month log prices tracked here could print above 600, which would be the first time in 5 years.

Since January, either housing starts or building permits has set a new high. This month is no exception, with a new high for permits of 899, which is the preliminary number. Could it break 900 for November when corrected next month? If so, that would be a first for either housing starts or building permits, since 2008.

The monthly 30-yr fixed rate mortgage rate posted another drop to 3.35%. The most recent week is up to 3.37%, could just be related to the end of the year.

Looking at the larger financial picture and in the post-election environment: In mid-December the Financial Times reported that the Federal Reserve plans to hold interest rates near zero while unemployment is above 6.5% (November, 7.7%), as long as interest rates do not rise above 2.5% (November, 1.8%). This connection between monetary policy and the state of our national economy is unprecedented. Further, in a third “quantitative easing” the FED also increased its purchase of mortgage backed securities from $40 billion to $85 billion per month, which is also slated to continue until unemployment drops significantly. These targets, designed to prop up the economy, have spawned speculation as to when interest rates would rise. The FED projects 2015. If unemployment continued to fall at the current rates it could reach 6.5% at the beginning of 2014. But many economists feel that 2015 or 2016 (or even 2018) is more likely, due to a projected rise in unemployment as those who had stopped looking for work, re-enter the workforce. Further complicating issues include, the fiscal cliff, a new middle east war, or unresolved eurozone issues. All of these actions and potential issues portend a continued slow rate of recovery.

Data reports used with permission of:
1) Random Lengths. Through Sept. 2012, 2”x4”x8’ precision end trimmed hem-fir stud grade from Southern Oregon mills. Starting Oct. 2012 the stud grade was consolidated with and is now reported as Kiln Dried Studs, Coast Hem-Fir 2x4x8’ PET #2/#2&Btr. Price reported is Dollars per Thousand Board Feet, generally the third week of the month. One “board foot” of product measures 12 inches by 12 inches by one inch thick.
2) RISI, Log Lines. Douglas-fir #2 Sawmill Log Average Region 5 price. Current report is for the prior month. Dollars per Thousand Board Feet of logs are reported using standardized log measurements from the “Scribner log table,” which includes expected saw trim. This is much larger than a product board foot.
3)  Dept. of Commerce, US Census Bureau. New Residential Housing Starts and New Residential Construction Permits, seasonally adjusted, annual rate. Current report is for the prior month. Recent reports are often revised in bold. Also, major revision made each May, reaching 2 1/2 yrs back.
4) Regional Multiple Listing Service RMLSTM data, courtesy of Janet Johnston, Prudential Real Estate Professionals Broker, Roseburg, OR. Inventory of Unsold Homes (Ratio of Active Listings to Closed Sales) in Portland Oregon, for most recent month available.
5) Freddie Mac. Primary Mortgage Market Survey. 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgages Since 1971, national averages. Updated weekly, current report is for the prior full month.

6) Mortgage-X Most recent weekly rate of 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgages, national average.
Issue #5-12. © Copyright Rick Sohn, Umpqua Coquille LLC. For permission to reprint, e-mail rsohn@umpquacoquille.com

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Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was DOWN 3.4%

Weekly Rail traffic for Lumber & Wood Products was DOWN this week. Combined North America Rail Volume for the week is 3,211 down by 3.4%. The four week moving average is 5,419 up by 11.0%. Week 52 cumulative total is 304,456 up by 10.3%.

 

This Graph shows the weekly average Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was DOWN 3.4% 2012-Week 52

This graph shows the Percentage change in Year-Over-Year of Carloads of Lumber & Wood Products.

Lumber & Wood Products Rail Traffic was DOWN 3.4% 2012-Week 52 yoy

From the Association American Railroads (AAR): AAR Reports Mixed Weekly Rail Traffic

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