Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for July 29, 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: SPF mills in both eastern and western Canada possessed enough order file to maintain price levels. Wholesaler-owned volumes of 2×4 were often discounted. Wider widths were not as susceptible to the same pressure. All Southern Pine dimension lumber prices continued to climb, influenced by constricted supplies, shifts in production to alternative items, production cutbacks, slight increases in demand and thin yard inventories. Enough volumes were sold in the Coastal species lumber market to buoy prices in most instances. The few exceptions were in green Doug Fir, where continued pressure on narrow widths drove prices lower. General prices offered for Inland species lumber have remained virtually unchanged, as mills count on the stability of the market and loyal customer bases to mute countering attempts by buyers. Narrow widths have been the primary targets of countering. Whether it is Ponderosa Pine #3 Shop, P99 or Cutting Commons, it sells relatively easily and often can be sold at a slight premium over its previous levels. All #2&Btr Shop are very firmly priced. Likewise, Mldg&Btr is stable and moving at unchanged prices. The price of #3 Common is still a shade better than #2, which has been under pressure from soft retail demand for this entire spring and summer. Idaho White Pine producers show some fairly wide spreads in the Sterling material, but Standard is consistent among producers. Eastern White Pine producers continue to report conditions basically unchanged. Radiata Pine Shop is of concern, because producers do not and have not wanted to ship it to the United States under current conditions. Western Red Cedar producers reported little change in both volumes sold and prices.
PANELS: Western Fir plywood sales activity surged, with CDX prices increasing $10- to $15 in several instances. Regionally, participation from yards was widespread. Enough demand for Southern Pine plywood emerged to push mill order files out and firm prices. Wholesalers purchased more heavily, helping to move mill prices. Taking their cue from a slight increase in demand, OSB producers reacted quickly to elevate their numbers in most regions. Most of the gains can be expressed by values of $5 or slightly less. Canadian plywood sales at mill level took place at slightly elevated numbers. The elevated numbers are C$302 to C$305 for 9.5 mm CSP sheathing delivered to Toronto. On that basis, a 1% move upward is justified for Spruce plywood. All the particleboard and MDF pricing vectors in the marketplace aligned in recent weeks, with the result that a solid surge in price increases has taken place.
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Simpson posts sales and earnings gains
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Simpson Manufacturing Co. reported second-quarter net sales increased 7.4% to $177.8 million, up from $165.6 million in the same quarter last year.
Net income was $19.5 million, up from $6.7 million in the same quarter last year.
Sales increased in the United States, with increases in California and the western, midwestern and southeastern regions, as compared with the second quarter of 2010. Sales in the northeastern region decreased slightly.
Sales to contractor distributors, lumber dealers and home centers increased, although economic conditions remain challenging, and sales to dealer distributors were flat. The sales increase was broad-based across most of the company’s major product lines as compared with the second quarter of 2010. Sales of anchor products increased over the same period in the prior year, while sales of shearwalls decreased.
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A software upgrade for LP customers
LP released LP Wood-E Design 2011.2, an update to the in-house design software program that gives architects, engineers and designers the tools to quickly create floor, wall and roof designs using LP SolidStart I-Joists, LVL or LSL in residential or light commercial construction.
The new software release includes simplified menus to increase speed, while providing a more user-friendly interface and enhanced multi-product optimization.
“The versatility and efficiency of Wood-E Design software is already a proven solution for professionals who include LP SolidStart engineered wood products into their building plans,” said Kim Rogers, marketing associate, EWP. “The enhanced features of the new software update make the software easier, faster and ultimately a more effective design tool."
As an architect, it's great
As an architect, it's great to have a BYOD software application that allows you to easily create structure and test their functionality. With this new update of the Wood-E Design software, it's even easier than before because it's menus have been simplified and a lot of new features have been added. This software makes an architect or engineer's job a real pleasure.