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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 April 6, 2012

*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: Dangling discounts in front of buyers, eastern SPF producers began the week looking for takers. Western producers were not as aggressive, holding quotes near last week’s levels but admitting to carrying thin order files. By Thursday morning, an upward futures move and rumors of an order out of China brought more customers into the market. Production outpaced demand in the Southern Pine lumber market, forcing producers to discount #1 and #2 dimension prices for a third consecutive week. Signs of market improvements did appear. Truck availability continued to tighten. Low grade supplies remained tight. Sales activity on the dry side of the Coastal species lumber market increased in the latter half of week, helping to shore up those prices discounted early. In comparison, green prices could not gain any traction, weakened by scarce demand. The market for Inland species lumber remained on fairly stable ground, in spite of another week of modest sales activity and early discounting. Producers did not feel much urgency to book business. Eastern White Pine producers reported order files out to the week of April 23 and steady sales of both Standard and Industrial items. Suggestions that the market for Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons would soften when more production came on line have been unfounded. As production at Inland mills has increased, the market has absorbed the increased production, with little downside impact on prices. Ponderosa Pine moulding and shop producers reported their customers were returning to buy more wood. Sales of Shop grades improved slightly. Orders for Radiata Pine Mldg&Btr increased. Prices have not increased, but producers were keeping a close eye on activity. The Western Red Cedar market continued to perk up, as buyers looked to cover some needs with more urgency. The overall mood in the market was improved.

Panels: OSB producers lowered their asking levels in order to bring buyers from the sidelines. Buyers responded and made enough purchases to build mill order files and firm prices. Discounts offered early in the week dried up by week’s end. Elevated sales activity in the Southern Pine plywood market allowed mills to firm rate sheathing prices at discounted levels after moving order files through the week of April 9. Volumes of Western Fir plywood flowed from mills at a greater pace in the latter stages of the week after mills offered deep discounts. Canadian plywood producers were able to hang on to prices through another week of light sales volumes. Order files continued to help bolster mill asking levels. Prices from mill to mill for both particleboard and MDF continued to rise unevenly. Recent resin price increases are placing more upward pressure on board prices. Most buyers are absorbing the higher costs with little or no push-back.

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DeWalt embraces dust mitigation

BY Ken Clark

DeWalt has launched a new system of tools designed to reduce workers’ exposure to dust and its harmful effects, the company announced Monday.

The system includes three hammer shrouds, two grinder shrouds and a vacuum connector system that will combat dust inhalation associated with concrete cutting, chipping and drilling applications.

Pointing to statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Towson, Md.-based DeWalt said silica exposure remains a serious threat to nearly 2 million U.S. workers. Contractors who breathe in crystalline silica dust are susceptible to silicosis, an incurable respiratory disease that can be disabling or even fatal in severe cases.

“We recognize that we have a role in helping to make job sites as safe and productive as possible,” said Jeff Beck, product manager, DeWalt. “Dust and crystalline silica exposure is a serious issue facing many contractors today. Our new dust collection system, along with our current dust extraction products, will help to protect users and allow them to feel confident in the tools they require to earn a living.”

The Hole Drilling and Cleaning Hammer Shroud (DWH050K) offers two interchangeable drilling heads — one for holes up to 1-1/2 ins. and one for holes up to 2 ins. — to extract the dust created from drilling. The product is equipped with a tough rubber seal that adheres to most masonry surfaces when activated by a vacuum suction. The DWH050K also includes 5/16-in. and 9/16-in. hole cleaning tubes used to extract the dust from holes prior to applying epoxy for chemical anchoring. This kit is compatible with all DeWalt hammers and hammerdrills.

The Demolition Hammer Shroud (DWH052K) is used with DeWalt demolition hammers and pavement breakers to help extract particles and dust created in heavy demolition applications. The shroud is compatible with the D25980 and D25960 hammers and can be used with pointed and flat chisels up to 1-1/4 ins.

The Chipping Hammer Shroud (DWH053K) is compatible with all DeWalt SDS MAX hammers and the D25553K, D25651K, D25831K spline drive hammers. It is used to collect dust particles created in chipping applications and includes three different sized end nozzles to allow the user to match the chisel length to the nozzle length, providing the maximum amount of dust extraction.

The hammer dust shrouds are currently available through independent distributors. The products are expected to retail for $99.00 (DWH050K), $89.00 (DWH052K) and $109.00 (DWH053K).

The company also launched grinder shrouds and a universal connector system.

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Central Garden & Pet hires garden president

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Central Garden & Pet has appointed Steven LaMonte as executive VP, president-garden segment, effective May 7.

LaMonte will report to Gus Halas, the president and CEO of the Central Operating Cos.

LaMonte has a career that spans more than 30 years in consumer products companies. Since 2009, he was VP Latin America & Asia Pacific regions for Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Laboratories division. From 2006 through 2009, LaMonte was Worldwide VP, RX-OTC Switch & Innovation at Johnson & Johnson. Prior to working with Johnson & Johnson, Lamonte held numerous leadership positions at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Schering-Plough, Nestle Foods and other consumer products companies.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported that LaMonte, 56, will receive a salary of $425,000, not counting the possibility of a bonus and stock options.

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