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A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Jan. 14, 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: The bottom falling out of January contracts before their close silenced the SPF cash market. Prices of 2x8 and wider were sturdier than the narrows in the West. Urgency among eastern producers to lower prices was less. Southern Pine lumber producers continued to experience enough demand, while carrying strong enough order files, to push narrow width dimension lumber prices $10 to $20 higher. Treaters often purchased more volume toward the end of the week after finally getting back to their desks. Supplies of Coastal Hem-Fir 2x12 #2&Btr were tight. Producers reported ample inquiries for that item, and buyers sometimes substituted dry Doug Fir. Green Doug Fir prices were stable to higher, with the greatest strength found in 2x6 #2&Btr. Inland Species lumber mill activity was relatively quiet, with #2&Btr dimension continuing to be more brisk than sales in the uppers. Ponderosa Pine #2&Btr Shop is the tightest segment of that species. Mldg&Btr is also stronger. A number of producers have absolutely no #2 Common to sell, and #3 prices are also quite stable. No changes were reported for #4 Common. Idaho White Pine is "absolutely quiet," according to one key source. Eastern White Pine producers are generally in decent shape, as regards both price levels and order files. Radiata Pine 5/4 Mldg&Btr has moved to a range of $1,025 to $1,050, with most sellers seeking firmer numbers. Radiata Shop is flat in price, and Blanks have moved to $1,025. Wintry weather throughout North America brought Western Red Cedar consumption to a screeching halt in some regions and even held up production.
PANELS: Southern Pine plywood mills adjusted rated sheathing and underlayment quotes higher to begin the week and sold modest volumes at those newly established levels through Friday. The erosion of mill order files in the Western Fir plywood market, due in some part to winter weather in East, brought the market closer to the brink of decision. The leverage owned by OSB mills over the last several weeks has begun to weaken. Since the middle of this week, prices in most areas have simply held. Canadian plywood mills report that their order files are into Feb. 1 or even Feb. 14. Those mills with the longer files are generally asking up to C$315 for their plywood. Last week reflected some of the firmer prices being garnered for both particleboard and MDF, even though reports from producers indicate that overall demand remains on the soft side.
Source: RISI's Crow's Weekly Market Report