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                                                                                      July 13, 2016
SP Exports Steady in May
Exports of Southern Pine lumber held steady in May, totaling just over 53 million board feet (MMbf), according to the latest reports from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This volume represents a dip of three percent below the same month last year, resulting in an overall year-to-date increase of six percent when compared with the first five months of 2015. Offshore shipments during May roughly break down as follows: 27.7 MMbf dressed, 12.1 MMbf rough, and 13.4 MMbf treated lumber.
Softwood lumber imports to the U.S. remained high in May, reaching 1.4 billion board feet, up a hefty 39% from the volume imported during May of 2015. Through the first five months of this year, softwood imports remain up 40% when compared with the same period a year ago.
SFPA members can find detailed monthly reports of Southern Pine exports and softwood lumber imports in the Members Only section at These reports are provided as a benefit of SFPA membership. This data originates from USDA; SFPA assimilates the USDA wood products data and prepares a more user-friendly eight-page report to reflect only relevant Southern Pine volumes exported and a two-page report of softwood volumes imported, including three-year comparisons by month and year-to-date. SFPA’s reports by country also feature conversion of all volumes to thousand board feet (Mbf). Contact SFPA’s Vernon Barabino at 504/443-4464 (option 1), or e-mail him at with any questions about these reports.


Annual Meeting Agenda Grows
A meeting of the Expo Advisory Committee has been added to SFPA’s 2016 Annual Meeting agenda. This session will take place Friday morning, October 21, from 7:00am to 9:00am with a continental breakfast served. This year’s annual meeting will be held October 19-21 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“Our group of exhibitors will discuss in detail plans for making EXPO 2017 the best show ever,” noted exposition director Eric Gee. “The show’s long-range goals will also be discussed, and input from committee members is very important,” he added.  
More Sponsors Announced
Four more companies have signed up to support SFPA’s 2016 Annual Meeting. Optimil is a Gold Sponsor of the Wednesday evening’s Welcome Reception and will have an exhibit. Gilbert, Metriguard and Signode Packaging Systems will be there with tabletop exhibits, as well. Click here for profiles of all sponsors.
Click here to review the entire agenda with a registration form. Exhibitors interested in a tabletop display location can click here for the spots available, plus a description of all remaining sponsorship opportunities.
For questions about the meeting, e-mail Tami Kessler,

Latest Book of Standards Published
The 2016 AWPA Book of Standards is now available.  This edition contains all of the revisions from the Spring and Fall 2015 Standardization Cycles as adopted by the AWPA Technical Committees. It’s available as a 630-page printed volume, a searchable CD, or as a printed book/CD package. Click here to download a form and order by mail or FAX. To order online, visit the AWPA store; AWPA members must log into the store to receive discounted member pricing. 

International Update for June
The status of the Southern Pine Council’s international program activities is summarized in the latest report covering June. This eight-page update lists activities undertaken by country, plus the constraints or opportunities faced in each market along with a brief description of actions taken. Any changes that have occurred since the last report are highlighted.
SFPA members can access this update within the Members Only section of, listed under “Market Reports”.

Housing Analyses Available
A pair of new reports provides insights into the U.S. housing market. Urs Buehlmann and Delton Alderman are research scientists for the Brooks Forest Products Center at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Recently, they released a two-part housing market commentary for April 2016 that provides in-depth data on the U.S. housing market and related economic conditions.
"The housing report is a service of Virginia Tech and is intended to help those in the industry to gauge future business activity," Urs notes. SFPA members can review his analysis within the Members Only section of, listed under “Construction & Economic Reports”.
Within the same location, economist Al Schuler (retired) provides his popular observations on U.S. housing statistics. His notes for June are based on the most recent housing data. Among other points made, Al comments: “This is basically a two-tiered market – healthy upper end versus weak entry-level housing; not sustainable. Home ownership rate fell to 63.5% in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest rate of ownership in 50 years!”

Information for SFPA members and others with an interest in the Southern forest products industry.

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