Market Recap: RISI Crow's Construction Materials Cost Index


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Nov. 25, 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: Order files established the week prior extending as far out as early December, especially in 2x4, enabled SPF producers to maintain firm pricing in both the East and West. Both producers and wholesalers reported "steady" sales well into Tuesday. A short production week and enough prior Southern Pine lumber sales to push order files largely out through the week following the Thanksgiving holiday prompted producers to elevate dimension prices $5 to $10. Production cutbacks and prior sales put Coastal Species lumber producers in a good position entering the week. As a result, dry prices were stable. Limited supplies of green Doug Fir and moderately improved demand sent those prices higher. Inland lumber producers reported a little action on Monday, but the remainder of the short holiday week was quiet. A quiet week was anticipated, as many traders planned on taking all or part of the week off. Ponderosa Pine board prices were mostly unchanged at Spokane mills, the exceptions being 1x6 #2&Btr and 1x12 #3, which both came off $10. Idaho White Pine board producers reported good activity for Sterling grade. Prices for Standard and Utility were unchanged except for 1x12 Standard, which adjusted down $15 to close the week at $410. In Industrials, Ponderosa Pine producers had order files for Mldg&Btr well into December. Radiata Pine Mldg&Btr offerings from Chile were scarce, with very little availability before the first of the year. Sales activity was understandably "slow" in the Western Red Cedar market. Distributors showed limited interest in purchasing any near-term volumes. Orders for shipment in 2012 were placed.

Panels: OSB producers reported some follow-through from last week's improved market. The volume of cash sales was light, and prices were firm. Most mill order files were into the week of Dec. 12, but buyers reported availability for next week. Although several Southern Pine plywood producers reported sales activity somewhat sluggish, it was more than they expected. Order files moved more solidly into and through the week of Dec. 12. Rated sheathing quotes were raised, and success was achieved at moderately higher price levels. Western Fir plywood sales activity was "surprisingly good" for some producers and "slow" for others. Order files extending into the front half of December buoyed prices and pushed them higher in a few instances. Canadian plywood prices, for both cash and contracts, were near last week's published levels. Producers reported order files into the week of Dec. 12 or 19. Few changes in particleboard and MDF markets were evident, leading a few producers and buyers to describe the market as "status quo."  

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