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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 March 15, 2013

*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 sold steady volumes and nudged prices a few dollars higher, as buyers purchased significant volumes for shipment in the first week of April. Wholesalers sold volumes readily at price levels at or near replacement costs. Southern Pine dimension lumber prices once again tilted upward after an uptick in buying late the week prior and varying degrees of follow through this week. The perception that treaters still needed to purchase spring needs remained in play. Coastal species lumber prices moved higher, as price resistance from buyers continued to give way to needs. A lack of availability; slow shipments, particularly out of Canada; gains in futures and persistent demand all contributed to higher pricing. Inland species lumber producers continued to control the market with strong order files and steady demand. Mill order files out beyond two weeks prompted buyers to look for quicker shipments from secondaries. Supplies of Radiata Pine remained tight, especially Shop lumber. The majority of reported sales were contract or program sales. While sales volumes for Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr were good, they were not enough to change prices. The Ponderosa Pine board market remained in the hands of producers. Mill order files out to mid-April in some cases had buyers scrambling to cover more immediate needs. Idaho White Pine Standard sold well, although supplies were limited. Eastern White Pine producers reported good sales for Standard and improved sales for Premium. Western Red Cedar buyers were cautious and awaited the time when greater consumption levels are expected to erode those purchases both in inventory and not yet delivered. Weather was to blame for a lack of takeaway at some yards.

Panels: OSB markets saw the lion’s share of business transacted at the secondary level. Producers were able to keep prices at their lists for the most part. Some minor discounting was reported in a few regions. Southern Pine plywood buyers purchased strong volumes, sending mill prices moderately higher. High prices generated conservative purchasing, but persistently higher consumption levels forced buyers back into the market at whatever price. Sales at the end of the previous week, described by one producer as "screaming," were enough to allow Western Fir plywood mills to firm up price levels. Lead times most commonly extended into early April. Canadian plywood producers reported a quiet week of sales. Those with order files were content to keep prices close to published levels. Others were more open to looking at offers. Eastern particleboard mills continued to sell more volume than what was produced, while western producers experienced more of a struggle to move volumes. MDF sales remained solid.

For more on RISI, click here.

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Whirlpool appoints president of Europe, Middle East and Africa region

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Whirlpool has appointed Esther Berrozpe as president of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and to the company’s executive committee. Berrozpe is currently VP European markets for the company’s EMEA region. 

"Esther is a proven global leader at Whirlpool Corp. Her experience in both Europe and North America is strong, and she is well-suited to lead our European business," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corp. 

She replaces Jose Drummond, who will return to Brazil for personal reasons and continue his role of president, Whirlpool S.A. Brazil board of directors, until year-end. 

Berrozpe became VP European markets, EMEA, in August 2012. Prior to this role, she was VP brand and product, North America Region. Berrozpe joined Whirlpool Corp. in June 2000 and has held various trade marketing, product and brand leadership roles of increasing accountability in Europe and in North America. Berrozpe has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Deusto University in Spain. She also studied Economics and International Business at Universita degli Studi Bergamo in Italy.

Berrozpe’s new role will be effective May 1, 2013.

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Nardelli nominated for Office Depot board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Office Depot’s largest shareholder, Starboard Value, included Bob Nardelli on its list of candidates for the Office Deport board of directors.

Nardelli, the former CEO of The Home Depot and subsequent CEO of Chrysler, was part of a slate of nominees that included Tractor Supply Co. director Cynthia Jamison. 

Office Depot is engaged in merger talks with its rival OfficeMax. 

The move wouldn’t be the first Home Depot-Office Depot crossed executive paths. The Atlanta-based home improvement giant’s senior VP supply chain Mark Hollifield was president of supply chain management at Office Depot before joining Home Depot in 2006.

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