Lumber futures strengthen on Wednesday after Tuesday's declines end three-day rally, January contract settles up US$1 at US$231/mbf

LOS ANGELES , December 8, 2011 () – Improved buying interest on cash markets boosted lumber futures prices on Wednesday, following Tuesday's declines, as some trades exited short positions in response to the increased volume of cash sales.

Holiday curtailment announcements also contributed to the short covering, Dow Jones reported on Dec. 7. The January contract closed US$1 higher on Wednesday at $231.00 per thousand board ft. (mbf), and March climbed $4.40 to $250.00/mbf. Cash prices were quoted in a $238-250 range.

Tuesday's declines marked the end of a three-day rebound that saw January gain 6.7% and eliminate most of its discount to cash, closing at $232.80/mbf on Monday.

On Tuesday, January closed down $2.80 at $230.00/mbf, March dropped $1.40 to $245.60/mbf and May settled 1.80 lower at $260.90/mbf.

The primary sources of this article are Dow Jones, Chicago, on Dec. 6 and 7, and daily settlement data for random length lumber futures from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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