Eastern Market Forecast

By: Davis Edwards, Director of Eastern Plywood Sales

With the new year in full swing, we wanted to highlight the Eastern Markets and give an idea of what trends are being seen. Here is what Davis Edwards, Director of Eastern Plywood Sales has to say.

The first thing I see is the Domestic Hardwood Plywood Markets in the East are improving, which is good news! The next is that the first two weeks of January were painfully slow as plywood buyers had ordered panels in December for early January shipment. We are happy to say that we saw business start to improve by the end of January and that trend continued into February.

Stocking levels have seemed to have changed. I worked 10 years in distribution for another company before this role so, I know a thing or two about the “No Stock Outs” that traditionally were held at 55 days of inventory. I say this because Eastern Distributors are not stocking to these levels, and if I had to guess, stocking is most likely around 20-25 days. This educated guess comes from asking the customers point blank their stocking levels, and something that could be added to this is everyone still reeling from the post pandemic supply chain hurdles. My hope for 2024 is that distributors start to stock more panels to bring the markets back up to what we traditionally know them as.

As for veneer faces and backs, we are still finding it hard to procure the plain sliced, more “fancy” veneers such as White Oak or Alder. That’s not to say we can’t get them to our mills, it just takes a little longer than we are used to. However, we are seeing no issues procuring major substrates, so we are happy to see that.

So, what does that mean for you, the customer? It means that the sales team will continue to work with our manufacturing teams to communicate any and all veneer requests or delays. This year as we keep our “One Enterprise” mentality, we will also be focusing on becoming the most “Customer Centric” company in the wood products and transportation industry. Thank you for your business, we look forward to continuing to work with you all again this year.