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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 May 9, 2014

*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: The pace of trading in the SPF lumber market was strong, particularly later in the week. Producers in both the East and West sold more than the week’s production. Buyers in eastern Canada participated in greater numbers. Demand for Southern Pine lumber remained strong, allowing mills to maintain order files of two to three weeks and raise prices. Traders pointed to improved demand out of northern tier states as one reason for improved sales. The overall strength of those items produced by Coastal species lumber producers improved, generating firmer pricing for some items and moderately higher prices for others. Dry producers often described sales activity as “steady.” Sales volumes for Inland species lumber were light but steady. Much of the quieter market was attributed to a lack of availability more than a slowdown in demand. Radiata Pine Mldg&Btr continued to sell steadily at or above published levels. Radiata Pine Shop offerings were far and few between, and most never saw the open market. Ponderosa Pine Shop producers, with order files through most of May, were content to stay on the sidelines for the time being. The Ponderosa Pine board market ended the week on a little quieter note than when it started. Explanations ranged from buyers’ attention shifting to covering needs for dimension lumber to long mill order files and a lack of wood to quote. ESLP producers had little trouble selling any available items they had to quote. Eastern White Pine producers continued to see steady business for Standard grade. Sales in the Western Red Cedar market were steady, as retailers experienced decent takeaways and distributors replenished or filled holes in inventories. Buyers often called producers, needing delivery of previously placed orders, which were somewhat restrained by tight truck availability.

Panels: Sales volumes at OSB mills slowed as dealers turned to secondaries for shipments that were quicker than producers could provide. Mill order files out to mid-June allowed producers to hold prices in spite of slower sales. Mill sales in the Southern Pine plywood market were not as robust as in previous weeks as buyers turned to wholesalers for quicker shipping needs. Mills continued to sell decent volumes, although sometimes less than a week’s production. Although Western Fir plywood producers often experienced decent sales, overall activity slowed at the mill level, leaving most prices with little energy to move much higher. Buyers looked to wholesalers for quicker shipping volumes. Market activity for Canadian plywood continued to increase. Started by a rally in western markets last week, buyers in eastern locations have begun to participate as well. Producers report mill order files as far out as the week of June 9. Overall particleboard and MDF sales were little changed from prior weeks, and producers often described sales as “steady. Some eastern producers continued to sell more than the week’s particleboard production, prompting them to seek higher prices from some customers.

For more on RISI, click here.  

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HCN Stock Watch: Downturn Thursday

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John Stephenson named chief marketing officer at CalStar

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sustainable masonry manufacturer CalStar Products has appointed John Stephenson as its chief marketing officer. Stephenson spent more than 25 years in marketing and management roles for window and exterior product manufacturers.

“With its innovative technology and game-changing sustainability, CalStar has quickly transitioned from a start-up to an industry influencer,” Stephenson said. “I am thrilled to be joining a business with such a positive mission, and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact CalStar can have in the commercial building landscape.”

Stephenson comes to CalStar following nine years at Ply Gem, where he served most recently as senior VP marketing and previously as president of the Kroy Building Products division and president of the Great Lakes Window division. He also spent 15 years at Milgard Windows, as marketing director and as a general manager.

“Along with his intimate knowledge of the exterior products category, John brings unmatched brand leadership, determination, and creativity, along with an enthusiasm for translating emerging tools into opportunities for our customers in the B2B space,” said CalStar CEO Joel Rood. “His reputation as a leader and a change agent will play a vital role in CalStar’s continued exploration of new products and services that are critical to our next stages of growth.”

Recently, the company opened its second manufacturing facility in Columbus, Mississippi. The Columbus plant will manufacture all of CalStar’s masonry lines, which are made using up to 81% less energy.

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