Market Recap: RISI Crow's Construction Materials Cost Index


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 3, 2011

*Western - regional species perimeter foundation; Southern - regional species slab construction.

Crow's Market Recap -- A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow's Weekly Market Report.  

LUMBER: SPF lumber buyers in both Canada and the United States participated in keeping mill supplies in check. Volumes sold into the week of June 20 were often the extent of order files, with 2x4 #2&Btr making up a large share of the sales. Although Southern Pine lumber mills have cut back production, and reports of minor curtailments here and there continue to surface, prices overall remained weak, as mills were again forced to discount. Recent reductions in the volumes of lumber available helped keep Coastal species lumber prices on firmer footing and increases of $5 to $10 often took hold. Phone activity into late Thursday encouraged Inland species lumber managers to think more positively about the general market. Both Fir-Larch and Hem-Fir narrows added a few dollars to previous levels, but wides were generally stagnant. Ponderosa Pine lumber is in good demand, and all prices are either very stable or stronger. Mldg&Btr holds at established levels, as does the price of all #2&Btr Shop. Commons are something of a jumbled picture, largely dependent on mixed loads and subject to some discounting. Idaho White Pine Utility has been sold out at $295 and above. Standard items are quiet. Eastern White Pine shows a little more activity since the sun came out, but prices are simply firm at this point. Radiata Pine is little changed, and although producers advocate increases, U.S. users are adamant about keeping the prices unchanged. While most Western Red Cedar producers saw little change in the amount of sales activity experienced, spotty bumps in demand were reported. This pressure placed on the market due to limited supplies was not strong enough to lift prices.

PANELS: Limited demand continued to place modest downward pressure on Western Fir plywood prices, despite recent production curtailments. Having established modest order files, Southern Pine plywood producers were more likely to hold price levels. Demand remained sluggish, which did force spotty discounts of $5 to $10 for rated sheathing items. Although some areas of the country do show some price gains for OSB, those gains are primarily the result of cost-related curtailments among producers. Demand is still very lax across the continent. Canadian plywood mills continue to cite the C$296 baseline for 9.5 mm CSP sheathing delivered into Toronto. The field, however, is selling nearer C$290, with the thought that sales are thin at even that reduced level. Better agreement on price levels is being achieved, with particleboard and MDF producers seeking price increases, despite the slack overall demand. 

Source: RISI's Crow's Weekly Market Report

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