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Cherry’s price increases while demand wanes


The cherry market gets mixed reviews from hardwood dealers. Sales are either steady or slightly down, supplies are tight, and prices have increased, according to several interviewed by Woodshop News.

“It’s not in as much demand as it was a couple of years ago. We get a lot more calls for maple and walnut than we do for cherry, but we still sell cherry almost every day,” says John Sliney of Vienna Hardwoods in Fairfax, Va. “Some people just don’t want the reddish tint. They’re trying to stay away from red. And some people are concerned that it’s a little on the soft side.”

“It’s not booming but it has been a pretty stable seller,” says Chad Muterspaw of Muterspaw Lumber in Xenia, Ohio. “Cherry’s always been one of my favorites. It’s so nice to work. We get a cherry that’s got a real good color to it, a 90/80 red, so it has very little sapwood. I’ve always liked the color as it gets darker as it ages.”

Bruce Stevens of Highland Hardwoods in Brentwood, N.H. says his customers tend to use cherry for architectural woodwork and cabinetry. It’s still in demand, but prices are increasing.

“The biggest difference between now and four or five months ago is the price has risen $.30 per board foot on the wholesale market so the demand seemingly has picked up somewhat. It’s either the demand is up or the direction’s down,” says Stevens.

“It’s been a tough winter for mills in the northeast because of the lack of real cold weather that impedes logging in the woods, and I suppose perhaps some of the Covid restrictions have probably hampered things. There’s a big shortage of lumber due to getting it out of the woods and having it processed. There’s a big holdup. The worldwide demand is up fairly strongly, too. So that’s led to less material available on the market and higher prices.”

Quotes for 4/4 FAS cherry averaged $4.50/bf retail and $3.95/bf wholesale in January. 

This article was originally published in the March 2021 issue.

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