Japan disaster could boost commodity prices
An analyst for a major Canadian bank has predicted that prices for lumber, plywood, steel and other commodities will rise over the next six to eight months due to the rebuilding efforts in Japan.
As reported in the Montreal Gazette and other media outlets, Scotiabank’s commodities expert Patricia Mohr said that reconstruction in Japan will boost demand and prices for lumber, panelboard and plywood, especially from West Coast producers, and also for steel and many other metals.
As for energy, Japan is turning to imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil to offset the loss of its nuclear power capacity, Mohr said.
Osmose acquires assets of Peninsula Copper Industries
Griffin, Ga.-based Osmose, a global supplier of wood preservative products, acquired the production assets of Peninsula Copper Industries, Inc. (PCI), a producer of copper-based chemicals.
PCI, headquartered in Hubbell, Michigan, is a leading manufacturer and exporter of copper carbonate and cupric oxide chemicals. PCI has been a copper compound supplier to Osmose for over 25 years.
“The acquisition of PCI is another important step in our integration into the manufacture of copper compounds that are essential to the production of our MicroPro, NatureWood, ACQ, and CCA preservative products," said Paul Goydan, president of Osmose. "This acquisition strengthens Osmose’s commitment to support the wood preservation business in North America and the world.”
PCI will continue as a distributor of its established products under a contract manufacturing arrangement with Osmose, according to Kevin Codere, president of PCI.
Commercial construction is lifting credit market, says S&P
In a report entitled "Commercial Construction Markets are Helping to Repair U.S. Building Materials,” Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has posited that commercial construction and the slowed rate of spending decline for that sector has helped the overall credit availability for construction projects.
Standard & Poor’s economists are projecting a 14% increase in residential housing in 2011 over 2010, and spending on repairs and remodeling possibly increasing about 5%.
Higher material costs are a key risk for the industry, the report noted, especially if there is no improvement in the unemployment rate. “It will be harder to pass on those costs to buyers,” the report stated. Infrastructure projects could help the industry, but the number of projects will vary by region, and some of it could be tied to pending legislation.
The entire report is available at globalcreditportal.com.