Weekly Lumber Recap
At this point it’s time to keep it simple. I remember the quote from Ronald Reagan about the cold war. He said, “let’s keep it simple. We win they lose.” Today we don’t have a road map. We don’t have historical data. All we have is the market in front of us. The data indicates a market headed for $300 while the real fear is it goes up $300. Both are a reality. Without a supply disruption the market is geared for a slow erosion with light rallies in between. Any signs of fear from the buyside and the mills will be off the market again.
Most would agree that housing is in a created recession. That is a recession caused by a steep increase in prices. Whether those price increases were cost related or not, it has the same effect at the end of the day. The only question is how deep of a recession the US go into. A layoff panic will drag housing into a deeper recession. A recession with minimal layoffs will allow the market to find a level and build off of it. The bad news it may take until the 2nd quarter to see how bad it could be.
Today the futures market is at a standstill. It is drifting lower with the cash market. The January futures contract has had a $38 trading range in November so far. There are three days left but nevertheless that is the smallest range in years. All the pressure in futures comes from the electronic trade made up of either the algo or the funds. The industry has pared its inventory to a level that hedging is not necessary. That is friendly. Any disruption in supply sets off the panic beginning with the funds covering shorts. That is where the big run-up would come from.
From a technical standpoint the market is close to a move. The Bollinger bands are as tight as we have seen in months. The sideways trade has pushed the market into an area calling for a breakout. A strike will set things off to the upside. A .75 raise in December will probably cause the bottom to drop out. In either case the futures market wants to trend. I’m still a fan of mitigating upside risk. The downside is easy.
Lumber Futures Volume & Open Interest
CFTC Commitments of Traders Long Report
Lumber & Wood Pulp Options
About the Leonard Report:
The Leonard Lumber Report is a column that focuses on the lumber futures market’s highs and lows and everything else in between. Our very own, Brian Leonard, risk analyst, will provide weekly commentary on the industry’s wood product sectors.