REPORT: St. Peter Lumber Company transforms with the times
St. Peter Lumber Company, located a little more than an hour southwest of Minneapolis, has been willing to make moves and investments as changes in demand and service accelerate.
In operation since 1988, the independent dealer offers a collection of services and products ranging from the latest building materials along with design and estimating using the latest software, to rental equipment and wild animal feed.
Company owner Chad DeBlieck, the second generation to own and operate the yard, views his business as much more than a place to buy lumber and building materials.
Read more about St. Peter Lumber Company at Connect Business Magazine.
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for March 2, 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.
SPF mills reported a slower sales pace. Order files ranging from the middle of March out to the first week of April left pricing firm. Some quotes were raised slightly. Lumber futures backed off for much of the week, creating more restraint among buyers.
- Southern Pine price strength was less robust, but weakness remained largely limited to 2×6 and 2×10. Large volume sales of 2×6 at the end of the week prior absorbed mill excesses, allowing West zone producers to firm quotes. Strength in 2×4 persisted while producers continued to shift more production to that dimension.
- Moderate sales activity influenced Coastal species pricing in various ways. Producers exhibited greater degrees of urgency to move off green Doug Fir volumes, resulting in some discounted volumes. In dry, prices tended to hold more firmly and even gain a few dollars in some instances.
- The Inland lumber market exhibited little urgency. Most of the market viewed the situation as a digestive phase, content to let the situation sift out for a while before renewing what has become record-level pricing.
- Stud sales activity and tight supplies combined to maintain a firm to upward trend among most items, although not as strongly as the prior week. Buyers continued to look for 9’ coverage as supplies often remained scant. Cracks showed up more often in Doug Fir.
- Reports on Ponderosa Pine Shop lacked uniformity, some saying, “Shop is a little more expensive,” and others saying that 5/4 moved upward while 6/4 was flat. Availability of Ponderosa Pine Shop remained notably thin. Reports concerning Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons showed a basically firm demand, but “no strong continuity.”
- Most of the numbers are flat. Sales activity at Western Red Cedar mills was solid. Demand levels prompted a few producers to begin considering demand-related price increases for the first time this year. Others introduced another round of increases for March.
Most sources reported diminished OSB activity, as buyers chased orders and pulled in their horns on purchasing with prices viewed as being near the top. Two-tiered markets were noted regionally, which led to further hesitation.
- Sales activity in the Southern Pine plywood market slowed. Mills entering the week with order files into the weeks of March 12 and 19 maintained those lead times through Friday morning. Opinions varied as to whether the slower pace was a “pause” or the beginning of “a period of price adjustment.”
- Western Fir plywood buyers were less active, limiting mill sales. Buyers picked off a few needs but considered the slower pace a sign of potential downside risk. Order files shortened, still ranging from the weeks of March 12 into March 26.
- With order files out to April 9 to 16, Canadian plywood remained slow this week. Buyers are cautious and chasing orders relentlessly with transportation still a mess.
- Signs of mild increases in particleboard and MDF demand persisted for another week. Eastern MDF producers reported the appearance of tighter supplies in that region. Meanwhile, particleboard producers in the East remained determined to lock in customers before the market experiences a major increase in production.
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LP names new EVP, general counsel
Louisiana-Pacific Corp. has appointed Timothy Mann Jr. as the company’s executive VP, general counsel and corporate secretary.
“Tim has a broad range of corporate and legal experience that will serve LP well as we continue to progress on our goal to transform LP into a leading building solutions company,” LP CEO Brad Southern said in a statement issued today.
Mann most recently served as CEO and president of Axiall Corp., an Atlanta-based manufacturer of chemicals and building products. Mann initially served as general counsel at Axiall.
The executive also served in leadership positions at other organizations, including as the founder and CEO of an accounting and IT temporary staffing company that he led through its initial public offering on the NASDAQ, LP said.
Based in Nashville, Tenn., LP manufactures building products and is one of the world’s largest producers of OSB and EWP.
Last month, LP reported that fourth quarter 2017 net sales soared 29% to $711 million while posting a net income of $130.5 million for the period, more than doubling a net income of $42.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.