LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A small boost in domestic housing starts and China's growing demand are giving Western lumber producers hope for the new year.
The Daily News in Longview says industry experts anticipate a sturdier market next year after plummeting demand since the recession started.
The Western Wood Products Association says lumber production in the West was up 7.9 percent through the end of October, compared to 2009. Industry officials say prices also have improved about 15 percent over the past year.
China's demand for high-quality lumber currently accounts for just 1 percent of Western production.
But trade publication Random Lengths says it has more than doubled in the past year.
The Daily News says analysts think that should help stabilize prices and be an incentive to increase production.
Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.