Lumber futures fall back slightly on Thursday after Wednesday's near limit-up gains on expectations that damage caused by Hurricane Irene would boost lumber demand

LOS ANGELES , August 26, 2011 () – Lumber futures fell slightly on Thursday after moving sharply higher on Wednesday on expectations that damage caused by Hurricane Irene would boost lumber demand.

Early on Thursday, contracts in the nearby months reached 1 1/2-week highs, Dow Jones Commodities News reported on Aug. 25. But ongoing caution about the economy, and uncertainty caused by limited sales volumes in the cash sector, undermined confidence, moving futures lower.

The September contract closed down $0.80 at $226.20 per thousand board ft. (mbf) on Thursday, November settled $1 lower at $232/mbf and January closed at $253/mbf, down $1.40 from Wednesday. Cash prices were reported in a $230-$240 range.

Wednesday's increases of up to $9.70 on expectations of increased demand were supported by a pick-up in cash trading activity, a broker said, as some lumber buyers entered the market ahead of the hurricane.

Dow Jones noted that some mills had been willing to consider counter offers early in the week, but sold enough lumber to hold to their quoted prices.

On Wednesday, September closed $9 higher at $227/mbf, November gained $9.70 to close at $233/mbf and January ended $8.40 higher at $254.40/mbf.

The primary source of this article is Dow Jones Commodities News, Chicago, on Aug. 24 and 25, 2011.

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