Q1 2024 Lumber and Sawmill Market Overview: Stepping into Q2

by Wayne Nisley
March 29, 2024
3 Min Read

As we transition into the second quarter of 2024 at Bright Star Auctions, it’s the perfect time to look back at the first quarter’s trends in the lumber and sawmill industries. The period showed signs of optimism, reflecting a market that's finding its footing after previous unpredictability.

Lumber Market Trends: A Glimpse of Optimism

The lumber market has been on a rollercoaster, especially after 2021’s unprecedented highs. 2023 saw a steep decline with disappointing lows across all lumber classes. Entering 2024, we've noticed a slight increase in lumber prices, suggesting a potential for growth. This uptick is a positive signal for the industry, hinting at a possible increase in demand and profitability.

Sawmill Equipment Insights: The Current Scene

The sawmill equipment sector has mirrored the market's fluctuations. Post the price corrections in lumber, the demand for new equipment saw a decline. However, the latest auctions indicate a revival, showing robust interest and investment in quality sawmill machinery. The success of recent auctions, including notable sales of high-end equipment, signals a cautious yet promising market revival.

Q1 Sawmill Auctions Report

January 25 - Formerly Kurtz Sawmill – Mercer PA

This auction indicated a strong demand for quality sawmill equipment. The 2023 Lumber Tiger Resaw with the runaround system sold for a nice $135,000. Everything sold well, from the transfer equipment to the almost new lumber carts. Here is what our seller had to say:

All I can say is if I ever have another auction, I will contract Bright Star Auctions. My auction made 40% more than anyone thought it would! I am very happy with the results!

Chris Kurtz

March 19 – Borntreger Sawmill – Hope, KY

This auction resulted in an even keel of sold pricing. From the 2021 Timber Buddy Band Mill ($57,500) and the 2015 Cooks Edger ($10,000) to the older knucklebooms, price expectations were met and we exceeded our expectations by just a bit.

2021 Timber Buddy
2021 Timber Buddy – 3/19/24 - $57,500

Navigating Forward: Strategic Considerations

The industry stands at a crossroads, with evolving dynamics and a cautiously optimistic outlook. As we delve deeper into 2024, the anticipated gradual rise in lumber prices may rejuvenate the market, impacting the demand for sawmill equipment and overall industry health.

Q1 Bright Star Auctions’ Top Sellers

Here is a list of our top 10 sellers for the first quarter of 2024.

2024 International Truck
2024 International Truck -3/14/24 - $155,000

Q2 2024 Upcoming Sawmill Auctions to Watch

Stay informed about the key auctions happening in Q2 2024, each offering unique opportunities within the sawmill industry. Mark your calendars for these dates:

April 24 – Landmark Woods Products, English, IN

After many successful years in the lumber industry, Mr. Smith is retiring and liquidating his complete sawmill operation at auction. This auction features Komatsu and John Deere wheel loaders, a Helle circle mill, Wood-Mizer HR120 resaw, Morbark chipper and more!

May 15 – Meridien Hardwoods of PA, Pittsfield, PA

Watch out for the sale of the complete concentration yard, dry kilns, and the real estate. This operation may sell in its entirety, but if not, it will go to absolute auction.

May 17 – Weaver Ridge Wood, Millersburg, OH

Don’t miss out on their excess sawmill equipment auction. This will not affect the successful ongoing operations of Weaver Ridge Wood LLC. You can consign your quality equipment to this auction!

May 22 – WR Hardwoods, West Liberty, KY

With a shift in business direction, WR Hardwoods is offering their West Liberty plant for sale as a complete operation. If it’s it doesn’t sell as a complete package it will go to absolute auction.

May 24 – Green Tree Hardwoods, Marion, MI

Following numerous prosperous years in the hardwood grade lumber sector, the owners of Green Tree have shifted their focus in a different direction. This presents a unique chance to acquire HIGH QUALITY, well-maintained equipment (a lot of which is one owner) through an absolute auction! Accepting consignments of quality equipment.

2023 Lumber Tiger Resaw with runaround system
2023 Lumber Tiger Resaw with runaround system – 1/25/24 - $135,000

Reflecting on Q1 2024, the lumber and sawmill industry exhibits a landscape filled with potential, marked by emerging opportunities and the need for strategic adaptability. Stakeholders equipped with the latest insights and adaptable strategies are well-positioned to navigate the market’s nuances and capitalize on its gradual recovery.

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