LUMBERYARDS

U.S. LBM expands its holdings

The acquisition-oriented dealer adds Arizona’s R&K Building Supplies.

BY HBSDealer Staff

U.S. LBM Holdings, the pro dealer and distributor of specialty building materials, has acquired Arizona’s R&K Building Supplies.

Founded in 1974, R&K Building Supplies distributes lumber and a broad line of specialty products, such as windows, doors, millwork, insulation, trusses, lumber and other materials, to contractors and homeowners from its 20-acre location outside of Phoenix. R&K’s facilities include sales offices, showrooms, a lumberyard, truss plant and multiple warehouses.

R&K President Chad Coons will be retiring from the company in the coming months and his son Chip Coons, currently vice president of R&K, will continue as president.

“We congratulate Chad for his many successful years leading R&K and are excited to welcome Chip and the R&K team to U.S. LBM,” said U.S. LBM President and CEO L.T. Gibson. “R&K shares our values of operational excellence and continuous improvement, and this new partnership brings another market leader into the U.S. LBM fold, complements our recently-opened Rosen Materials location in Phoenix and expands our presence in a growing construction market in the Southwest.”

U.S. LBM was advised by Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP.

Not counting R&K, US LBM operates 31 divisions. The company was formed in 2009 as a collection of largely autonomous lumberyards. In July of 2015, private equity firm Kelso & Company entered an agreement to purchase a majority of the equity interests in the company.

Other recent acquisitions include those of Ridout Lumber of Searcy, Ark.; and Keene Lumber of Muskegon, Mich.

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LUMBERYARDS

Marcus Lumber hosts U.S. Senator

In Iowa, Senator Chuck Grassley pressed the flesh at a newly remodeled store.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Iowa’s United States Senator Chuck Grassley made a public appearance with Marcus Lumber at their recently remodeled store in downtown Marcus, Iowa.

Grassley, an 84-year-old Republican, visited the fourth-generation family business during his traditional annual tour of all of Iowa’s 99 counties. At Marcus Lumber, the senator toured the new facility, posed with staff, and answered topical questions from a host of visitors.

Marcus Lumber toured their updated and expanded facilities with Grassley giving him a first-hand look at the lumber business and small family run businesses in general.

Following the tour, a short question and answer session took place involving Marcus Lumber team members as well as other local community leaders. Many topics we’re discussed including education, renewable fuels, the farm bill and rising healthcare costs. Marcus Lumber’s leadership was also able to address the many ongoing business- impacting trade agreements involving steel and lumber products. Grassley provided insight on many of the issues presented and recognized the uncertainty impacting famers and business owners.

Senator Grassley commented, “I can tell you the President believes being unpredictable is to his advantage [in these trade talks}. Things are changing every day but recently there appears to be a small light at the end of the tunnel.”

Marcus Lumber is a family owned and operated home center serving all of Northwest Iowa since 1920.

Senator Grassley poses with the Marcus Lumber team.

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RISI Crow Market Recap — May 25, 2018
LUMBERYARDS

RISI Crow’s Market Recap for May 25

BY HBSDealer Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for May 25, 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

After a strong finish to the week prior, SPF traders came back from Monday’s Canadian holiday to a relatively quiet market. Sales at both eastern and western Canadian mills slowed considerably. Buyers were keenly aware of an extended downturn in lumber futures, creating significant anxiety in a market where high-priced volumes will not arrive at yards until July. Traders often considered the downturn in futures inconsistent with the cash market, citing strong demand for lumber.

  • The trading pace in Southern Pine remained brisk. Spotty claims of sales activity not quite as frantic as prior weeks were heard, but buyers continued to replenish inventories at a strong rate.
  • Sales activity in Coastal species slowed early, as several days of sharply downward futures moves shocked the market. By the end of the week, more traders turned their attention toward the long holiday weekend. Prices moved higher.
  • Inland lumber trading was hampered most of the week by indecisive indicators from the futures board, but when Thursday showed strong upward motion from the board, lumber buyers responded with strong order placement.
  • Stud prices continued to march higher, although not at the rate as seen in prior weeks. Double digit gains were common among 2×4 items. Much of the price strength was attributed to continuing tight supplies across a number of items.
  • Ponderosa Pine industrials remained stable in price, in concert with other pine products. The 6/4 Ponderosa Mldg&Btr has hinted at strength over the last few months, but real action has not developed. Ponderosa Pine boards continued to show the “frozen in place” attitude of recent weeks. Prices are virtually unchanged, with the exception of 1×12 #3 Common, which is softer.
  • Western Red Cedar producers often reported steady sales, although somewhat pedestrian compared to last year. Traders noted that buyers were a bit more anxious to receive shipments now that Memorial Day weekend was quickly approaching.


Panels

Through most of North America, the pace slowed in OSB. Holidays in Canada and the US served to quiet activity, while the market digested wood purchased in the past weeks. Most sources described solid conditions, saying inventories were still thin in the system and jobs busy.

  • Sales activity in the Southern Pine plywood market was most often reported “steady” to “a little slower.” Those traders seeing a slight downturn in sales offered a variety of reasons, including high prices, the approach of a long holiday weekend and a forecast of significant rains in the Southeast.
  • Reports of sales activity varied in the Western Fir plywood market, but when all was said and done, prices continued to climb higher. Lead times in the weeks of June 11 and 18 were typical.
  • Canadian plywood markets firmed this week following the holiday, with trading and inquiries reported moderate to strong. Sources felt the market is underbought and are bullish going into next week. Forest fires active in BC served to fuel the notion that supply could tighten as log flows are again threatened.
  • No big changes occurred in the pace of particleboard and MDF sales activity. Yards and downstream manufacturers purchased steady volumes, enabling most mills to maintain order files.

For more on RISI, click here.

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