Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Feb. 13, 2015
*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: Limited trading activity in the SPF market placed more downward pressure on prices, especially at eastern Canadian mills. Prompt shipping volumes forced eastern mills to make outbound calls and negotiate price levels. Demand struggled to keep pace with production in the Southern Pine lumber market. Obstructions in the market such as the weather, the West Coast port strike and exchange rate between the US and Canada are all making it more difficult for mills to move production. Coastal species lacked the energy to generate any traction. Overall, prices adjusted very little, but where pressure existed, it was generally modestly downward. Stud mills often lowered prices to sell production, as demand lagged. SPF mills, particularly in eastern Canada, approached the market more aggressively than other species. Overall, price adjustments of $5, and in a few instances, $10, were most common. Radiata Pine lumber has been victimized by the dock situation. Even though some importers are shipping to alternative ports, producers have not been able to institute some of the raises they had expected. Some notable price changes have occurred in Ponderosa Pine industrial in recent business. Mldg&Btr, which has been tight, has clearly moved upward by $25, based on producers’ reactions to the dock situation and the inability to bring imported material off the docks. Although the production of Ponderosa Pine boards has diminished somewhat, those mills that have boards have not benefitted from stronger prices. Eastern White Pine mills are generally inundated with snow, although little open market wood would be available anyway. Buyers located where weather was good understandably sought to cover Western Red Cedar needs more than those in the northern tier of the US, especially the Northeast.
Panels: OSB activity went almost dead calm this week, and most price categories remained unchanged from last Friday. Pervasive cold weather is keeping jobsite activity down. Order files are out, generally, to the week of Feb. 23. Southern Pine plywood producers experienced enough sales activity to maintain solid order files and, as a result, nudged rated sheathing prices higher. When mills called orders ready, buyers were quick to react with trucks. Any give in the Western Fir plywood market was to the downside, although producers were not yet ready to aggressively seek more sales. Order files extending a week or two prompted producers to quote the same prices as the week prior and negotiate a few dollars when necessary. After a good spike upwards last week, Canadian plywood pricing went flat. Some producers tried to sell at one point over, but to no avail. Order files remain out to the weeks of March 9-23. Customers continued to purchase particleboard at a solid pace, which allowed producers to maintain order files to their liking. Buyers scrambling for MDF coverage attributed it to slow cargo unloading at West Coast docks.
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Obama makes strong appeal for public-private cooperation for cybersecurity
Palo Alto, Calif. — Describing cyberspace as the new "wild, wild West," President Barack Obama on Friday said that while everyone expects the government to be the sheriff, the private sector must do more to stop cyberattacks. He also called for the passage of a single national standard requiring consumers to be notified within 30 days if their financial or personal data is stolen.
The president made his remarks during a keynote address at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University. Speaking before an audience that included tech CEOs, retailers, law enforcement officers and consumer and privacy advocates, he said that all must work together to do what none can achieve on their own. He even signed an executive order to promote the sharing of more information about cyberthreats during the event.
Obama called for intensive public-private sector cooperation to both combat cyberthreats and protect consumer privacy in the process. He laid out a series of principles for achieving cybersecurity and consumer protection, the first being to make protecting the private sector infrastructure a shared mission.
“The government cannot do it alone, and neither can the private sector,” said Obama. “The government has information on the latest threats. Government and industry should be working together sharing appropriate information as true partners. The government can’t secure the networks of private businesses, and the private sector doesn’t always have the resources needed during a cyberattack.”
In protecting the privacy and civil liberties of the American people, Obama stressed the importance of not overlooking the basic rights of Internet users when government and industry defend against, and respond to, cyberattacks.
“When you go online, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the basic privacy we expect as Americans,” said Obama.
Obama called on government to work with industry to create a cybersecurity framework that enables the prevention, response to and recovery from cyberattacks.
“I’m calling on Congress to work to make sure security is safeguarded,” Obama said. “That includes fully funding the Homeland Security department.
Citing progress that has been made in the area of cybersecurity, Obama has also called for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights that will let consumers decide what data companies can collect and how they can use it, as well as a Student Digital Privacy Act that will prevent data collected from educational technology from being used for marketing purposes. Obama also wants to provide liability protection for companies that share information on cyberthreats.
Obama emphasized that nations, as well as hackers, terrorists and other criminals, are involved in cyberattacks on U.S. corporate and government networks. He mentioned China and Russia by name, and also directly blamed North Korea for the recent hack into the network of Sony and subsequent public release of emails and other corporate data.
Sharing cyberthreat information dominated the rest of Obama’s address. Government efforts include a new Cyberthreat Intelligence Integration Center, a single entity that analyzes cyberthreats across the government. Industry is contributing with efforts such as the “Buy Safe” initiative from card providers including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, designed to make transactions more secure.
Obama said that technology “outstrips” the pace of regulation, requiring government to be self-critical and foster open debate about protecting consumer privacy while deterring threats. He also said international cooperation, including with countries that do not share America’s commitment to openness, will be required.
Obama concluded by saying cybersecurity is not a partisan effort.
“This is a not a Democrat or Republican issue,” said Obama. “Everyone is online. Everyone is vulnerable.”
A new Sawzall hits the market
Milwaukee Tool says it has advanced the reciprocating saw category with a new cordless M18 Sawzall Recip Saw, with selling points in durability, speed and runtime.
“Other than the M18 Fuel Sawzall that launched last year, no other cordless recip saw even comes close in cut speed and run time,” says Christian Coulis, director of marketing for Milwaukee Tool. “We are proud to offer best in class solutions in both the brushed and brushless categories,” Featuring a new in-line cutting action that provides more control and faster starts in metal, the new cordless product is designed to make up to 30% faster cuts in key applications, and will deliver up to 50% more cuts per charge than competitive cordless recip saws, the company says.
The new model maintains an electronic overload protection for the motor and battery pack, and features a robust, all-metal gear case and gearing.
For added user convenience, the Quik-Lok blade clamp provides quick and efficient blade changes while the variable speed trigger optimizes speed for different applications, according to the manufacturer. With a slim front design and improved ergonomics, the saw is designed for maximum control and comfort.