Market Recap — April 13, 2018
LUMBERYARDS

RISI Crow’s Market Recap for April 13

BY HBSDealer Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for April 13, 2018.

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

The pace of trading in SPF eased compared to the prior week. Having purchased, many buyers awaited shipments that are currently leaving BC mills a month late. Enough demand and slow shipments equated to moderately higher prices at western mills.

  • The basic price trends in play the week prior persisted in Southern Pine. Both 2×6 and 2×10 in upper grades gained. Limited 2×10 production aided those prices.
  • After finding some trading levels the prior couple of weeks, Coastal species trading activity was largely flat with some moderate price adjustments in some items. The market lacked urgency and momentum across many items. Traders often blamed weather across parts of the country for keeping a lid on demand.
  • Inland pricing from mill to mill tended to show some sizable variations, based on volume and species a given producer needed to move.
  • Most stud prices were steady to moderately higher. Eastern SPF producers sold solid volumes, citing 2×4 9’ as the strongest item. Limited availability at western Canadian mills, especially in 2×4 8’ and 9’, helped push prices out of eastern mills higher. Coastal and Inland species were not as strong.
  • Radiata Pine exports from New Zealand continued to be gobbled by China, even though a number of key moulding manufacturers have demonstrated financial vulnerability.
  • Ponderosa Pine #2 Shop has not assumed the market strength most of the industry has predicted for this year. Prices continued to wait for stronger demand. Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons showed no signs of a spring run.
  • Idaho White Pine remained stable in all of its prices, still being sought despite its thin production volumes.
  • ESLP Commons showed some fairly sizable increases, based on new stock coming to market by key production.
  • Some Western Red Cedar producers reported steady sales activity. Others noted they saw a distinct pickup in buyers looking for shipments toward the end of the month and early May.


Panels

Activity in OSB markets was spotty this week, mostly held back by lingering winter weather in the North. Buyers maintained a cautious air, with inventories managed on the thin side. Mill prices were sideways to down $5 in the United States and unchanged to down $10 in Canada.

  • After running inventories low, Southern Pine plywood buyers began the week digging for price and availability from producers. Those buyers entered the market in greater numbers Wednesday to purchase sizable volumes. Buyers included wholesalers, who covered shorts and took up moderate speculative positions.
  • Entering this week’s Western Fir plywood market with eroded order files, producers made moves to more earnestly find trading levels for CDX panels. Sales remained sluggish. Some mild increases in activity took place by the week’s end, but prices remained soft by Friday. Canadian plywood activity was quiet again this week. Wintry weather continued across much of the country, especially in the Prairies, bringing jobs to a crawl.
  • Both particleboard and MDF producers used the word “steady” the most to describe activity in their markets. A few noted their sales pace picked up “moderately” in recent weeks.

For more on RISI, click here.

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S.W. Collins Co.
LUMBERYARDS

Centuries in the Making: S.W. Collins Co. (est. 1844)

BY HBSDealer Staff

The April issue of HBSDealer profiled a handful of lumberyards that have survived and thrived beyond the century mark. One of the keys to success across the board: They move on when opportunities present themselves.

See the April 2018 digital edition here.

What follows below is a look at S.W. Collins Co., a Maine institution since 1844.


S.W. Collins Co. (est. 1844
)

S.W. Collins calls itself “The Pioneer Lumberyard” with the slogan adorning the front of each of its locations. Its pioneering spirit, along with lumber opportunities and the desire to develop Maine’s vast wilderness of timberlands, led to the development of S.W. Collins.

Now in its 174th year of business and still headquartered near its founding soil in Caribou, Maine, S.W. Collins Co. has continued a lumber tradition through five generations of the Collins family.

Along the way, it has shown a willingness to experiment, adapt and grow — a practice that continues under the current leadership.

“We feel that we’ve been successful because of the things we focus on,” said Sam Collins, president of S.W. Collins. “What we focus on is creating a culture that values our employees, values our customers and values our suppliers.”

S.W. Collins has continued to expand while remaining a corporate citizen in Caribou and Maine. It opened its fifth location in Lincoln in February 2015. A once vacant lot was replaced with a 43,000-sq.-ft. storefront, materials warehouse and storage area. Later that year, the company acquired Quigley’s Building Supply in Fort Kent. The Quigley family had operated the business since 1944 after buying it from H.W. Coffin Lumber & Building Materials.

“We are very fortunate. My brother Greg and I feel lucky that we are the fifth generation to lead this company,” said Sam Collins, when accepting the HBSDealer 2014 Independent Pro Dealer of the Year award. “We are very proud to be part of this wonderful industry.”

That history begins in 1844, when Samuel Wilson Collins, along with Washington A. Vaughn, opened his first sawmill near the Caribou Stream. The business eventually expanded into general merchandise business as well.

In the ’80s, S.W. Collins’ business tripled in volume and evolved into a home center business, serving contractors and DIYers alike. More hardware, electrical and plumbing supplies were brought in along with doors, windows and cabinets.

Other big dates in the company timeline include 1993, as operations expanded when the company opened its Presque Isle location. And in 2007, the company purchased Houlton’s Fogg’s Hardware, which was renovated and given a new showroom and drive-through yard.


Catch up on what you missed: HBSDealer’s profiles of lumberyards that have thrived for more than a 100 years offered a glimpse of the durability of this industry. Featured yards included:

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Centuries in the Making: The Requarth Co. (est. 1860)
LUMBERYARDS

Centuries in the Making: The Requarth Co. (est. 1860)

BY HBSDealer Staff

The April issue of HBSDealer profiled a handful of lumberyards that have survived and thrived beyond the century mark. One of the keys to success across the board: They move on when opportunities present themselves.

See the April 2018 digital edition here.

What follows below is a look at The Reqaurth Co., an Ohio institution since 1860.


The Requarth Co. (est. 1860
)

Providing lumber and building materials for the Wright Brothers is just one example of Requarth’s deep role in helping to make history in Dayton, Ohio. During the general contractor phase of its existence, the company constructed Dayton’s tallest building in 1904.

More recently, Requarth has moved to preserve the city history, by remodeling the downtown warehouse that served the company for about five generations, converting it into an award-winning architectural showpiece and modern showroom. The results have been historic: In 2017, the company enjoyed its best year of sales in 157 years.

President Alan Pippenger is the great-great grandson of company founder Frederick August Requarth. He told HBSDealer that the company’s history is important to the day-to-day operations in a number of ways.

“First, it’s a story about resilience, surviving the economic panics of the late 19th century, the world wars and all those events,” he said.

Its history also serves as a daily reminder of the need to transform and reinvent. The company has developed in various stages since 1860, beginning as a wood turning shop, then a material supply company, then it shifted into the role of general contractor. After the Great Depression and World War II, Requarth became a supplier to home builders. And in the 1960s, the company operated three home centers.

“You look back at our history, each generation has to reinvent and add to our deep ties to this community,” he said. “From the Wright Brothers on, we’ve been an important part of this community. And thanks to that, people will drive downtown to look at kitchens.”

Today, The Requarth Co. has found its stride as “your source for cabinetry lumber and more.” That description reflects the company’s 2011 acquisition of Supply One Cabinets, a Dayton-area family business that also has nurtured multiple generations of roots in the community.

The move from a contractor-based dealer to a pro dealer with a kitchen-and-bath showroom operation required some changes.

“It brought a lot more consumers into the location, and made it more important for them to find us,” he said. “[As a result], we upped our marketing effort dramatically.”

This included an upscale Requarth website that puts an emphasis on design and high-quality images. But the company is actively thinking ahead to the next generation of consumer interaction tools.

“Unfortunately, websites are old news,” Pippenger said. “Right now, our website is reaching our customer base, but it won’t in five or 10 years. We’re starting to think now about where that’s going.”

Evolving and adapting are hallmarks of the company — even name changes. Its acquisition of Supply One in 2011 eventually led to a name change from Requarth Lumber to the temporary Requarth Supply One to the current The Requarth Co., with “Lumber, Millwork & Kitchen” built into the logo.

But the most important phrase in the Requarth playbook is “every job done right” — which emerged through careful and open strategic planning.

“That’s what’s on our T-shirts,” Pippenger said. “That’s what we talk about in employee meetings when we share ‘every job done right’ stories with each other. That’s really the core of what we strive for as a company.”

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