Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 7, 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: An up and down futures market, additional sales to China and firmer quotes extended by western SPF producers carrying very little order file had buyers confused. Despite a few firmer prices, traders were skeptical of any strength in the market. No turnaround was yet evident in the Southern Pine lumber market. With the exception of flat 2×6 pricing, other dimensions continued their slide. Secondaries reported that inventories at some of their customers’ yards remained abundant. Wholesalers experienced spotty trading activity. Coastal species lumber producers sold greater volumes, but not enough to keep prices from falling. Production curtailments announced the week prior had some impact on the market, but to what degree was difficult to ascertain. The sense of stability in the Inland species lumber market that began to develop last week carried over into this week, with the result that prices have begun to show firmness, and buyers are floating more inquiries past mills. Radiata Pine Mldg&Btr, which has been pushed hard this spring, does show a modest retrenchment in the price of 5/4. Both 5/4 and 6/4 Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr thus remain firm in their prices. Even Ponderosa Pine #2 Shop, which has been lagging for many months, shows some renewal and a push upward in price. Ponderosa Pine 1×10 in all grades is either stable or slightly firmer among most producers. The grade having the greatest downward pressure seems to be #2. Eastern White Pine sources report sluggish sales. Most Western Red Cedar mills showed no inclination to raise prices in the lackluster market. In fact, some buyers noted a bit of softness in a few items.
Panels: The OSB market suffered from regional overproduction, coupled with extreme buyer caution. The result was a falling but inconsistent pricing profile, depending on the region. The news of mill closures this week did not have a strong immediate impact. Southern Pine plywood producers sold greater volumes than in previous weeks, but it took lower prices to entice buyers. Where discounts were deepest, wholesalers purchased greater speculative volumes than in past weeks. Truck availability tightened, generating late shipments. Moderate sales and slim order files kept downward pressure on Western Fir plywood prices. Unprofitability is prompting some producers to cut back production. Wholesalers reported sluggish trading. Price adjustments in the Canadian plywood market were downward, and few sources reported any strong conviction that the market was ready to stabilize. Demand for particleboard varied. After experiencing a brief slowdown in sales around the Memorial Day weekend, some particleboard producers saw a return of sales volumes experienced prior to that time. MDF demand was steady, remaining strong.
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NRF survey says Dad’s in for a good Father’s Day
Americans are going to stretch their budgets and spend a little more on dad this year, according to NRF’s 2013 Father’s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight. The average person is expected to shell out $119.84 on gifts this year, an increase of 2% from $117.14 last year.
Total spending by people 18 and older in the United States for Father’s Day is expected to reach $13.3 billion.
“Never expecting more than a nice day out or a special family dinner, dads are usually easy to shop for, and families this year will make sure to find the perfect gift for their favorite man this Father’s Day,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “From patio sets and grills to ties and gardening tools, retailers will offer specials and promotions in the coming days for families as they scour retailers’ websites and stores for something they know dad will love.”
Consumers will mostly stick to the traditional gifts for dad, but some will splurge on clothing, electronic items and special outings. According to the survey, those celebrating Father’s Day will spend $2.5 billion on a special outing, such as a sporting event or dinner, $1.7 billion on a new electronic gadget, such as a tablet or GPS system and $1.8 billion on clothing. Dad can also expect plenty of gift cards; families will shell out $1.8 billion on the perfect practical gift. Others will splurge on home improvement and gardening tools ($755 million), sporting goods ($710 million), personal care items ($707 million) and even automotive accessories ($592 million).
Though most will buy for “dad,” Americans will celebrate the other men in their life as well; more than half will buy gifts for their father or stepfather (53%), and three in 10 (29%) will shop for something nice for their husband. Additionally, 9.7% will buy a gift for their sons, 4.9% will look for something for their grandfathers and 6.4% will shop for their brothers.
Department stores remain the preferred shopping location for gift buyers: four in 10 (41%) will look for dad’s gift there. Others will shop at discount stores (32%), specialty stores including greeting card/gift and electronics stores (27%), and specialty clothing stores (10%). Online retailers will see a slight increase in traffic this year; 30% will shop online, up from 28% last year.
“Even those on a budget this year will look for special ways to surprise dad,” said BIGinsight consumer insights director Pam Goodfellow. “Online deal sites, department stores and home improvement centers are all well aware of the special holiday coming up, and shoppers will make sure to look for unique, affordable gifts that help celebrate the men they love.”
Mobile shoppers will be out and about these next few weeks as they seek a nice gift for dad. Two in five (20%) of those who own a tablet plan to use their tablet to make a Father’s Day purchase. Overall, more than half (51%) of tablet owners will use their device to research products and compare prices, redeem coupons and look up retailers’ information such as store hours and location. Four in 10 (43%) smartphone owners will use their mobile device to research the perfect gift idea and compare prices and look up store information.
The NRF 2013 Father’s Day Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Father’s Day holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by BIGinsight. The poll of 5,706 consumers was conducted from May 1-8. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3%.
BIGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, BIGinsight represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.