Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for May 20, 2011
*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: Sales of western SPF 2×4 #2&Btr occurred at $218 to $219, well below the $227 posted the week prior. Prices in the East were flat with some minor adjustments, although producers were able to garner more orders than in previous weeks. Producers of Southern Pine lumber reported yet another week of slow trading, leaving some prices vulnerable to discounts. Mills continued to tweak production, trying to establish a better balance between supplies and limited consumption. Moderate production cutbacks have helped buoy dry prices in the Coastal species lumber market. Abundant weakness remained in the green Doug Fir market. Inland Hem-Fir prices are slightly weaker than those of Fir-Larch. Both have had to adjust down from mills’ initial offering prices, some by as much as $20. Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr lumber continues very stable at current levels. Shop lumber is the focus of buyers’ attention, causing the prices of all Shop to appreciate by $5 to $10. Generally, #3 and #4 Common boards are more active than #2. The greatest price spreads are in #2. Idaho White Pine Sterling is suffering because of the pressure on Ponderosa, and some of those prices have adjusted. Eastern White Pine boards continue at much the same pace and price profiles as they have been for some weeks. Radiata Pine lumber prices are "flat," but demand is lackluster. Western Red Cedar buying consists of replenishment orders often meager in size, consisting of numerous items and needed fairly promptly. However, not all items are available for quick shipment.
PANELS: Despite cutbacks announced by a major producer, Western Fir plywood buyers exhibited no urgency to jump into the market to cover needs. Prices remained spongy, a result of sales staffs trying to both keep up with production and move buildups. Sluggish demand forced Southern Pine plywood producers to negotiate prices. The tendency was to hold mill quotes close to prior levels and listen to offers. All OSB regions across the country seem fragile and without verve at this point, and the only changes in continental pricing are to the downside. At least one key Canadian plywood producer elevated prices for buyers’ consideration. While some plywood was sold, it was not apparently any volume and mostly not at that level. The C$296 for 9.5-mm CSP sheathing remains in place. Although both particleboard and MDF have clearly improved over the last couple of months, the improvements are muted. Prices are stable, given the steady but unenthusiastic business, and producers show some fairly wide spectrums of need.
Source: RISI’s Crow’s Weekly Market Report
Moen names new sales VP
Kitchen and bath supplier Moen has named Steve Holdsworth as its new VP wholesale sales, effective immediately. In this role, Holdsworth will provide leadership to Moen’s sales organization and support their sales efforts in the wholesale channel. In addition to defining, developing and managing the implementation of sales strategies and customer programs for the wholesale business unit, Holdsworth will direct sales operations, training and development.
Prior to joining Moen, Holdsworth worked in the electrical wholesale business. He joined GE Supply in 1986 and spent the last 25 years with Gexpro in roles of increasing scope and responsibility. Most recently, Holdsworth was general manager of Gexpro’s global sales organization, where he led domestic and international sales for both the electrical and services business platforms.
GE credit specialist indicted for mishandling Lowe’s account
A federal grand jury has indicted Ronald Kiser, a former credit specialist for G.E. Consumer Finance, with bank fraud for diverting $465,000 worth of checks into his mother’s bank account. Kiser, 40, handled the Lowe’s account for G.E.
According to the indictment, announced May 19 by U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom in Kansas City, Kan., the alleged crimes occurred in 2009 and 2010. Kiser’s duties included mailing checks to businesses that had a credit with Lowe’s, and when a check was returned to G.E. Finance because the business no longer existed, Kiser was supposed to shred the check and record the information in a spreadsheet.
Investigators claim that instead of shredding checks, Kiser arranged for the checks to be changed to his mother’s name and addressed to her home in Michigan. He then cashed the checks or deposited the checks into a checking account he held jointly with his mother. He used ATMs in Kansas, Missouri and Michigan to withdraw the stolen funds, prosecutors said.
If convicted, Kiser faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. The U.S. Secret Service was the investigative agency, according to the press release.