Measuring Softwood Lumber Value: A Conjoint Analysis Approach

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Conjoint analysis was used to determine softwood lumber value perceptions among buyers of wood for preservative treatment and to determine trade-offs between lumber attributes and price. Utility functions for each lumber attribute and a model to estimate overall lumber value were developed. Wane was found to be the most important attribute in the evaluation of lumber value, followed by price, accuracy of grading, damage to the lumber package, lumber straightness, and lumber moisture content (in that order). Utility scores of individual respondents and simulation techniques were used to quantify trade-offs between quality and price. Buyers of softwood lumber for preservative treatment were found to be willing to pay a higher price to obtain wane-free lumber. The results of the study provide guidelines for softwood lumber suppliers seeking to differentiate their product while maximizing customer-perceived product value. For. Sci. 44(1):145-157.

Keywords: Trade-off; price; quality; simulation; wood preservation

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: February 1, 1998

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