UPDATE 4-US lumber at 19-mth high on post-Sandy rebuilding hopes

Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:32pm EDT
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* Lumber futures rise the $10 daily limit

* Rebuilding after Sandy could stretch well into 2013

* A month before reconstruction likely to start

* Home Depot shares rise on expected rebuilding

By K.T. Arasu

CHICAGO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. lumber futures hit a 19-month high on Wednesday amid expectations for demand to surge as thousands of homes, damaged by the superstorm Sandy, are rebuilt in the coming months.

Trade sources said the home-rebuilding process in the northeastern United States, which bore the brunt of Sandy, could stretch well into 2013, keeping demand for lumber robust.

The sources also said efforts by homeowners to quickly rebuild or repair their homes could be hampered by the fact that lumber mills usually reduce stocks going into the winter months, when demand tends to wind down.   Continued...