Hardwood manufacturers have gotten some good news this month, after weathering the storms of the marketplace. Hardwood flooring shipments for April have increased more than 5.5 percent over March, at 56,604,000 board feet, reports NOFMA: The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association.

More importantly, these figures are higher than April 2004, at 56,113,000 board feet, marking April as the first month this year that shipments have exceeded those of the same month in 2004.

NOFMA said some of the increase may be a reaction to pent-up demand resulting from production slow-downs from weakening prices during the first quarter. Recently flooring prices have stabilized, the association says.

Year-to-date shipments for the first four months of 2005 are 212,796,000 board feet, about 4 percent less than the same period in 2004. Shipments through four months of 2004 were 222,349,000 board feet. Hardwood flooring shipments for the past 12 months have totaled 663,252,000 board feet, more than 8 million feet higher than the same 12-month period one year ago.