RISI Crow’s Market Recap for June 8
Participation among SPF buyers subsided further; meanwhile, OSB markets were selective and quiet.
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 8, 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.
Participation among buyers in the SPF market subsided further. Wholesalers trying to liquidate their positions at lower prices experienced limited sales. Meanwhile, producers tried to maintain price levels by leaning on order files.
- The pace of trading in Southern Pine eased. Buyers purchased small volumes when the need arose and digested purchases made in April and May. Light volumes of narrow widths sold at or near the prior week’s levels, with 2×4 most susceptible to discounts.
- Less trading over the past couple of weeks caught up with a few Coastal species lumber mills, forcing some discounts. Overall, pricing was flat with cracks developing, as was the case in other markets. Meanwhile, 2×12 remained soft, with lower prices showing up at some mills.
- Inland lumber species remain strong, despite a definite slowdown in overall mill sales. This action was expected by both producers and their customers, but the slower pace of the market seems to have affected prices only slightly so far.
- Stud mills opened up to counters more readily in the latter half of the week after order files eroded. Mills with longer order files did little in the way of discounting. Producers were most aggressive with 9’ stud prices, sometimes lowering quotes significantly to sell quick shipping volumes.
- Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr and Shop showed only a few cosmetic changes in price, with 5/4 #3 Shop remaining the most constant market maker. Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons showed no real change in market pace. Selects remained stable in price, without comment from either buyers or sellers. Commons showed very few changes, and those that did appear were likely the result of attempts to liquidate accumulating stock.
- Market changes were minimal in Western Red Cedar, and prices continued to maintain levels. Steady purchasing continued to absorb most of the production, although some excesses remained in play, mostly in tight knot sidings and decking.
OSB markets were selective and quiet. Mill order files ranged from the week of June 18 to 25. The elevated prices of OSB have imposed purchasing limits on buyers, who battled cash outlays and credit limits.
- The Southern Pine plywood market experienced its slowest week in the past several. Producers sold decent volumes but buyers backed away in greater numbers, some preferring to see the market’s next move before buying more.
- There was enough momentum in the Western Fir plywood market for mills to raise quotes modestly and receive orders for truckload volumes at those levels. Sales were moderate, which helped push mill order files out more solidly into the week of June 25.
- Canadian plywood exploded the week prior, leaving the market stronger but insecure and buyers much more cautious this week. Mill order files range from July 2 to July 16, and mill add-ons highly flexible, up to +6 from some producers with the most solid files. But there is a general consensus in the industry that prices are flat.
- Particleboard sales were lackluster overall, with a few producers reporting a downturn in purchasing.
- MDF remained a notch stronger than particleboard overall, even described as “robust.” Moulding manufacturers remained busy and purchased accordingly.
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