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Permanent Shavings Shortage in Northeast?


I live in Massachusetts.  My feed store (Ferestien's in Foxboro)
has been having trouble for about four months getting shavings.
Ferestien's sells over 10,000 bales of shavings a month.
Their primary wholesale supplier is Paley's, with secondary and even
tertiary backup suppliers.  The story was that it was just due
to a slow-down in the building industry due to the season, but
the dealer began to doubt this since there actually *isn't* much
of a slow-down in building and the difficulty they have been
encountering is more severe than any in at least 10 years.

Well, Mr. Ferestien finally did some calling and has found out
what the real problem is.  Evidently the Russians have undercut
the American lumber market.  Builders are getting their lumber
cheaper from dealers supplied from Siberian lumber mills.  Over 40
mills in New Hampshire and Maine have stopped milling and closed their
doors since fall, thus cutting off the supply of this by-product of
the US lumber industry.  Such mills as are still operating are having
their wood chips and shavings snapped up by the manufactured lumber
(oriented strand board, etc.) makers, who also rely on this
by-product of milling trees.

Mr. Ferestien said that he is arranging with his supplier to
open a mill to do nothing but produce shavings for him in the
next few weeks, but the mill will only generate about 4,000 to
5,000 bales per month, not the 10,000 he needs.

I'm wondering if the days of $3.50 shavings bales--which has
been the price for Paley's shavings in Massachusetts for most
of the past five years--are over forever.

Are other people in the Northeast having a similar problem?
How about the Southeast and far West?

Linda B. Merims
Massachusetts, USA

*This Is Not Endurance Related, But...

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