RISI Crow’s Market Recap for Aug. 3
LUMBERYARDS

RISI Crow’s Market Recap for Aug. 3

Pricing in SPF remained sloppy; meanwhile, OSB markets saw another week of plummeting prices.

BY HBSDealer Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Aug. 3, 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

Pricing in SPF remained sloppy. Buyers frequently described the market as “in disarray.” Producers worked the phones, trying to secure enough orders to load allocated railcars. In some cases, railcar availability remained limited. Sharp declines in futures Wednesday and Thursday added another degree of caution to the market, sending buyers to the sidelines.

  • Southern Pine prices continued their trend downward. Buyers maintained the same approach to the market, filling in inventory needs with prompt shipping volumes at sizable discounts. Negotiated deals were commonplace, as mills worked to maintain liquidity.
  • Buyers continued to stay out of the Coastal species fray whenever possible. Extensive market weakness and urgency among producers to sell prompted low offers from buyers needing to fill in inventory holes. Sales levels ranged widely across a number of items.
  • The price pause two weeks ago for Inland lumber was merely a prelude to further significant price declines. Price adjustments of up to $40 occurred in #2&Btr lumber.
  • Stud pricing sagged, with many prices declining $30 and more. Mills remained aggressive, calling on customers and negotiating deals. A range of sales prices persisted, depending largely how urgently a mill needed to move product.
  • Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr and Shop continued to show signs of little price change, although the demand for industrial lumber has not tailed off. Mouldings began to increase in price two weeks ago, so speculation among major users is that lumber might follow. Pine Selects and Commons have picked up their pace slightly, but mills have expressed some frustration with being unable to supply customer requests. Most potential buyers were looking for highly specified tallies, but mills were not generating the material to fill those.
  • Western Red Cedar sales were steady, although some producers blamed a lackluster pace on seasonal influences. Supplies of most products were not scarce enough to warrant buyers purchasing volumes for shipment in September. Timbers were an exception.


Panels

OSB markets saw another week of plummeting prices, but activity picked up as buyers perceived a bottom may be close. Deals were made to move order files out, as mills were open to counters. By the end of the week, producers began firming quotes.

  • After a slow start, Southern Pine plywood producers experienced an increase in sales activity at midweek. Prices continued to grind lower, but producers managed to bolster order files. Despite the rise in activity among buyers, traders perceived price floors were not yet established.
  • The Western Fir plywood market began like most weeks over the past couple of months – with limited energy. That changed in the middle of the week as more buyers stepped in to address inventory needs. Buyers managed to replenish CDX needs often $15-20 below the prior week’s levels.
  • Activity picked up this week in Canadian plywood, as pricing reached a level that triggered some buying and speculation that a trading level may have been reached. Discounted volumes were reported, which enabled mills to move order files out.
  • MDF and particleboard producers reported “steady” sales activity. Buyers continued to line up for reasonably strong volumes of both types of panels. Distributors replenished at a good rate.

For more on RISI, click here.

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RISI Crow’s Market Recap for July 27
LUMBERYARDS

RISI Crow’s Market Recap for July 27

The long grind downward remained in place in the SPF market; meanwhile, OSB markets were very cautious with another round of steep price cuts.

BY HBSDealer Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for July 27, 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 long grind downward remained in place in the SPF market. Yards continued the process of drawing down inventories and filling in holes where necessary. Annual mill shutdowns in eastern Canada did little to stave off market weakness. Traders watched for any relief that could come from wildfires or an upturn in lumber futures but found none.

  • Southern Pine demand continued to lag mill output. Consequently, prices pushed lower. Not yet seeing any hint of a strengthening market, buyers remained determined to purchase only near-term needs. Yards reported good sales and replenished at a steady, conservative rate.
  • Discounting in Coastal species picked up momentum, generating deeper discounts than in prior weeks. The market offered buyers a range of quotes as a result of heightened urgency among mills to move product. Mills approached the market aggressively early and continued to lower prices throughout the week.
  • Inland lumber producers reported another week of declining prices. Reports have buyers standing aloof from the market, waiting for a clear signal that the bottom has been reached.
  • Wide price ranges typically found in a market in search of trading levels remained in play among many stud items. The difference between this week and the week prior were the depth of those ranges. Discounts of $50 were more prominent as mills sought sales more aggressively.
  • Good Ponderosa Pine inquiry exists for both 5/4 and 6/4 Mldg&Btr, and #2 Shop is active in both thicknesses, as well. Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons have taken on some new life in recent weeks because of the hard fall of dimension lumber.
  • Western Red Cedar producers reported little change in their market. Hot weather in a few consuming areas, such as Texas, continued to constrict consumption, although sales out of yards in that state remained good. The Midwest was active, with producers reporting solid sales to those customers. Buyers in the West purchased steady volumes.


Panels

Almost a repeat of last week, OSB markets were very cautious with another round of steep price cuts. Producers made deals under established levels to try and move files, but distribution resisted, more interested in clearing out inventories.

  • Any Southern Pine plywood mill’s modest increase in sales was cancelled by another’s minimal decline. Consequently, prices continued to fall across a wide array of products. Buyers waited until the last minute to buy and wanted their orders to ship “yesterday,” according to one source.
  • Sheathing prices in the Western Fir plywood market remained weak and continued to drift lower by single digits. Although production has outpaced demand for several weeks now, traders took some solace in knowing their market has held up better than others.
  • The tone was generally cautious again in Canadian plywood, although some reported quiet deals and wondered if the market was coming close to a turn. Producers reported a slight but noticeable uptick in sales Thursday.
  • Particleboard and MDF producers reported somewhat steady sales activity, with adjustments in demand minor. A few particleboard producers experiencing early July slowing noted their order file has again filled in. Some laminators in the West backed away from the market, but other segments were reported to be ordering with regularity.

For more on RISI, click here.

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Here’s the 2018 ProDealer of the Year

Drexel Building Supply’s stated mission: Supply Happiness.

BY Ken Clark

The 2018 ProDealer of the Year Award will honor Wisconsin-based Drexel Building Supply, a company known for embracing innovation and thinking differently. It’s slogan — “Supply Happiness” — reflects a people-oriented and high-energy culture that cares for its customers.

The annual award, selected by editors of HBSDealer in concert with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, is designed to recognize a high-performance independent lumberyard with a commitment to best practices and the best values of the lumber and building material industry.

This year’s honoree was founded as Campbellsport Building Supply in 1985 and rebranded as Drexel Building Supply in 2012, Drexel Building Supply operates seven locations, including two design centers.  About 300 full-time employees run the operation. [Meet the Drexel Team here. All of them, from Aaron to Zach.]

The award will be presented at the 2018 ProDealer Industry Summit in Chicago, Oct. 17

“First and foremost I want to thank our team, our clients, our community, our vendors, the pro dealers nationally we work with, and this publication that has helped us get to this point in our company’s history,” said Joel Fleischman, whose official title is president and solutions provider.

“Secondly, we want to use this platform to call for radical change — a revolution — to improve our industry’s culture, promote women, minorities and racial diversity in our industry, seek with money and brain power true innovation, change and technology advancements, and remove the status quo climate of our pro dealers. We encourage leaders — and all of you with a passion to change the pro dealer climate are leaders — to join us! Big or small companies, individuals, or teams, from the north, south, east or west, join us in this movement.”

The T-shirt reads: “Drexel. Supply Happiness.”

The company will accept the award during an opening night ceremony of the 2018 ProDealer Industry Summit, slated for Chicago Oct. 17-19. The summit is hosted jointly by the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association and HBSDealer.

HBSDealer has recognized a ProDealer of the Year since 1997. Recent honorees include: Kuiken Brothers Co. of New Jersey (2017); T.H. Rogers Lumber Co. of Oklahoma (2016); Builders FirstSource (2015); and Meek’s Lumber (2014).

The 2018 honoree, ranks in the top 50 of the 2018 ProDealer Scoreboard.  The pro dealer is demonstrating its confidence in the building supply industry by constructing a new $2.1 million facility in Columbus, Wis. And as the company has successfully grown its business, it also believes the industry can achieve meaningful growth, as well.

“We want to quit celebrating growth for growth sakes, or solely awarding the bottom line,” Fleischman said. “We want to look for real change, real growth, real advancement in what we do as an industry.  I’ll buy the first drink as we discuss this at the ProDealer Industry Summit.  Please consider in joining us in the revolution!”

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