Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 20, 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: A confirmed overseas sale pried SPF lumber buyers off the sidelines late last week, and the market gathered more momentum this week. July futures stabilized, showing no day-end losses, and a strong gain Thursday added some pep to the cash market. Southern Pine lumber mills reported slow sales, again placing downward pressure on most dimension lumber prices. Bearish traders often predicted a weak market for at least the remainder of this month. Temperatures in the 90s and even 100s in the Southeast this week gave end-users a reason to remain indoors. Coastal species lumber producers lowered prices early, attempting to sell in a market where supply was maintaining an edge over demand. At those lower levels, buyers began to increase their purchases, creating trading levels. Inland lumber producers enjoyed a week of modest gains in price and a definite uplift in the tone of the market. Production of Fir-Larch, an occasional event among Canadian mills, has begun to taper off, reducing pressure on U.S. prices. Radiata Pine prices have been firm, and they remain so. Ponderosa Pine prices are also firm and unchanged this week, although some buyers report increased inquiries from producers with regard to Mldg&Btr lumber. In Ponderosa Pine boards show #3 Common is the best, #4 is better, and #2 shows a little raggedness with regard to demand. Eastern White Pine has developed some very solid demand bases, especially from export markets. Supply and demand remained balanced in the Western Red Cedar market. Buyers continued to purchase steady volumes while mills kept inventories lean. Buyers needing deliveries quicker than what railcars can provide switched orders to truckload shipments.
Panels: OSB saw a firming trend this week, with sheathing grades picking up more strength than flooring. Southern U.S. markets were softer than those to the west. Mill price levels increased as order files moved out. Southern Pine plywood producers have garnered enough order file to keep rated sheathing prices firm and elevate them in a few instances. Buyers purchased moderate volumes. Wholesalers sold off positions established the week prior at a steady pace, and some reentered the market. After modest early demand, sales activity in the Western Fir plywood market picked up at midweek, sending prices higher and mill order files into early July. A few producers extended moderate discounts to customers early in an effort to extend order files out to the July 4 holiday. Canadian plywood prices ended the week unchanged. Early week started off slow, with discounts and special deals available, though that all firmed from Wednesday through the end of the week. Particleboard sales activity, described as “lacking any intensity” by one producer, showed little variation in the volumes moving from mills to customers. Mills continued to sell production. MDF sales remained slower than particleboard demand. Buyers have purchased replacement volumes from other mills to in light of the recent mill fire, but one producer remarked that additional sales from the event were “underwhelming.”
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Freud/Diablo earns Sphere 1 award
Freud America announced its Freud/Diablo business was awarded the 2014 Accessory Supplier of the Year from Sphere 1, a cooperative of independent tool, fastener and concrete accessory distributors.
This award was given to Freud/Diablo during Sphere 1’s Annual Member Meeting in San Antonio in recognition for Diablo‘s performance in sales, service, program execution and product innovation.
“Sphere 1’s recognition of Freud/Diablo as Accessory Supplier of the Year is a great honor, and we thank the Sphere 1 membership for this highly coveted recognition." said Russell Kohl, president and CEO of Freud America. "Freud/Diablo will continue its mission to offer the most innovative cutting solutions with premium performance as well as superior customer service."
Freud/ Diablo received the award over 86 other Sphere 1 preferred suppliers. The Accessory Supplier of the Year Award is one of Sphere 1’s top honors and is awarded to the accessory organization that ranks highest overall across all six criteria, including sales volume increase over the previous year, growth percentage, number of members purchasing from the supplier, completion of Gateway for Growth Programs and Sphere 1 University student course completions in 2013.
The Sphere 1 Cooperative will meet in Las Vegas next year May 4-7.
Weyerhaeuser accepts Jefferson Award
Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser was honored with a Jefferson Award for outstanding service.
Founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard, the Jefferson Awards are considered a "Nobel Prize" for public service in the United States. The organization annually recognizes outstanding individual contributors to society. Each year, one corporation is also honored for outstanding service.
Weyerhaeuser’s deep commitment to citizenship as a core company value, strong support for employee volunteerism in its operating communities, and signature "diaper drive" campaign caught the attention of the prestigious Jefferson Award Board of Selectors.
In accepting the award, president and CEO Doyle Simons said, "It’s a real honor to receive this award, but I can’t take any personal credit for having earned it. Weyerhaeuser is 114 years old and I’ve been with the company for less than a year, so this award really belongs to all 13,000 of our employees. It acknowledges the truly great work they do for their communities."
Simons also explained why the company launched its annual diaper drive event, which encourages employees to donate diapers during a three-week period to be distributed to nonprofit organizations in their communities that serve families in need.
"A few years ago we learned that diapers are a real gap in social services," he said. "All parents know just how crucial diapers are, but most government programs don’t cover the cost of diapers and many people don’t think about donating them. Since we launched this program, our employees have donated nearly 2.5 million diapers to families in need."