Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Oct. 7, 2016.
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: After a round of buying the prior week, SPF buyers showed less interest in purchasing. A few prices nudged slightly higher at both eastern and western mills early this week and then held through Friday. Talk surrounding Hurricane Matthew, potential duties on Canadian lumber entering the US and the premium futures held over the cash market substituted for the more limited sales activity. Though less than prior weeks, upward price pressure held on to some degree in the Southern Pine market. Flat pricing for some items was also evident, along with discounting in wide widths. Although traders often stressed the “flatness” in the Coastal species market, some prices did adjust. Traders cited good demand in the field as a positive aspect of the market, leading to steady sales at mills. Inland prices, especially the narrows, continue to show some downward drift in both Fir-Larch and Hem-Fir. Stud pricing remained a “mixed bag,” with a large number of reported prices holding at or close to the levels established earlier. Both Radiata Pine lumber and imported mouldings are very firm in their prices. Industrial Ponderosa Pine continues to be very stable in most items, as it has been for many weeks. The exception is 6/4 Mldg&Btr, which is being sought by buyers and shows some price strength. On the other hand, 5/4 Mldg&Btr is not overly strong and can be found without undue difficulty. In boards, Ponderosa Pine #2 Commons are adjusting to the seasonal spottiness that has overtaken big box demand, reducing it somewhat as fall progresses. Western Red Cedar producers continued to sell relatively strong volumes heading into the fourth quarter. Demand throughout distribution remained active, telegraphing back to mills.
Panels: OSB activity started calm, with pricing dipping a bit midweek in many categories. However, mill-level prices largely recovered ground, with some posting levels above last Friday (primarily in the Southeast and Southwest regions, given their proximity to the hurricane). Order files are out predominately to October 24 Rated sheathing prices in the Southern Pine plywood market firmed and moved higher early as Hurricane Matthew approached the southern East Coast. Thin field inventories, largely due to persistently falling prices and ample availability at mills, prompted retailers to replenish at a significant rate. Western Fir plywood producers reported a moderate pickup in demand in the latter half of the week, which helped generate a decent week of sales activity. Mills lowered sheathing prices early in response to counters but managed to firm quotes by Thursday. Spotty activity strengthened through the week’s end for Canadian plywood. Producers sold enough volume to move order files out, using some discounting along the way. Demand for particleboard remained limited at mills in both the west and east. Mill order files were thin and some discounting was reported. Despite significant volumes of MDF imports available in the market, producers reported “good” MDF sales, particularly relative to particleboard sales.