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Few consumers recycling CFLs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The vast majority of consumers are not recycling their compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, and the result is tons of mercury released into the environment, according to an article in the Contra Costa Times. Statistics provided by the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers estimate that only 2% of consumers and one-third of businesses recycle CFL bulbs. 

Each CFL bulb contains up to 5 milligrams of mercury, a potent neurotoxin. When not recycled, these bulbs usually end up in landfills where, along with discarded fluorescent lights, they release into the atmosphere and in storm water runoff upward of 4 tons of mercury annually, according to a study in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association. 

By federal mandate, incandescent lights will be phased out in the United States by 2014. Most are being replaced by energy-efficient CFLs, as well as the pricier halogen and LED bulbs.  

Home Depot, Ikea, Lowe’s and many Ace Hardware stores, among other retailers, offer free fluorescent light recycling. 

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Industry Dashboard for April 4, 2011

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The March unemployment rate shaved a tenth of a percentage point, but the March consumer confidence index shaved even more.

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate fell to 8.8% from 8.9%. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index, however, fell to 63.4 in March, compared with 72.0 in February.

The Home Channel Stock Roundup is paced by Tractor Supply, which continues to show big gains of stock prices from a month ago and a year ago. For the second week in a row, all 10 stocks tracked are in the top right quadrant of the grid, indicating share price growth.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

 

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for April 1, 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 mills across Canada continually scoured the market for sales and lowered prices in the process. Takeaways from yards were also reported to be sluggish. Wholesalers heard little from their customers. Southern Pine dimension lumber prices continued to tumble, with month- and quarter-end discounts plentiful. Sales activity for Coastal species lumber was described as "quiet.” As a result, and despite limited production, prices were weak. The Inland species lumber region has been frustrated by "a triple witching week." Weather, the end of the month and the end of the quarter were three negatives that pulled at the market and caused it to crack. Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr remains unchanged, and Shop is still moving up slightly. The most active in Commons is #2, with most widths showing upward tendencies. Selects have been adjusted downward among some Inland producers and key northern California producers. Idaho White Pine producers are generally sold out of most key Sterling items. Eastern White Pine is getting more active, especially from Boston south, as weather improves. Radiata Pine Shop is getting more difficult to find and is $10 firmer this week. Buyers of Western Red Cedar purchased at a pace that projected little urgency. Prices were flat, with a little downside in pricing far more prevalent than any upside.

PANELS: Western Fir plywood mills reported a "slower" sales pace, but were generally able to nudge quotes higher. Inquiries for volumes intended for Japan slowed. The price of 1/2-in. 4 ply edged $5 higher, while quotes for 1/2-in. 5 ply ranged from $360 to $370, up from $355. Southern Pine plywood mills bumped rated sheathing prices early by $5 to $10 in response to decent follow-through and order files extended into the week of April 11. Steady sales of specialty panels prompted higher prices for items such as AC, BC and BBOES. The few producers who can supply OSB to Asia are seeing some good volumes of demand. The domestic market, on the other hand, lacks energy, although it does show some steadiness of pace. Two conflicting forces operate in Canadian plywood now: strong export demand and weak domestic demand. Producers have moved prices up another 2% this week, establishing C$322 as the new baseline. Price determination has been a major challenge for particleboard and MDF producers. Now, another expense is being added: exorbitant freight surcharges. The quiet U.S. market has caused buyers to balk at any sort of increase in prices, and none are reported this week.

Source: RISI’s Crow’s Weekly Market Report

For more on RISI, click here.

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