Mid-September: it was a good time for lumber prices, while it lasted. After levels earlier this year hitting $1670.50 per thousand board feet—high enough to choke the oxygen out of many building plans—they finally started to drop and hit $454.40 on September 15 on the spot market.

But on the same day, the futures market was $595.90. In this case, foresight was 20-20. The spot market started Friday, October 1 at $625 while futures were at $627.50. A draw—and maybe for the next year close to the new normal according to Bryan Shaffer, principal and managing director at George Smith Partners.

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