RISI Crow’s Market Recap

Momentum reversed course in Southern Pine lumber as more prices began to firm and edge higher.

BY HBSDealer Staff

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: Moderately improved SPF activity the week prior notched higher this week after a major BC producer announced early that they would be curtailing production. Momentum reversed course in Southern Pine lumber as more prices began to firm and edge higher. Improved trading activity shored up mill inventories, although some discounting remained in play by week’s end. Coastal species producers sold enough dry items to keep upward pressure on prices. Green Doug Fir remained weak early, but some traders felt a change in the air beginning Tuesday. Liquidity remained good, with buyers picking off immediate needs with good ship times. Inland lumber trading showed a solid pick up in both tone and activity, riding the impetus given the futures board by announcements regarding upcoming curtailments affecting three Canadian production sites. Both producers and secondaries reported better sales activity overall in stud markets. Radiata Pine availability is not a problem for regular buyers or for large-volume spot buyers, with price negotiations common in some instances. In Ponderosa Pine, major buyers report that they have little or no difficulty finding the items they need in Mldg&Btr and even #2 Shop. Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons buyers seemed more active, despite its still being winter, with major storms hitting most of the eastern US. Western Red Cedar sales remained lackluster. Winter weather conditions continued to keep consumption limited. Buyers purchased immediate needs, often in highly mixed truckload volumes.

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Jan. 18, 2019.

Western: regional species perimeter foundation
Southern: regional species slab construction

Panels: Activity in the OSB market was spotty but mostly slow this week. Winter weather held back any strident movement, though some deals were reported on volume. Southern Pine producers continued to sell at a stronger pace than that experienced at the end of December. A little more upward pressure was applied to rated sheathing prices, with mills able to garner $5-10 more. Sales activity in the Western Fir plywood market was lackluster. Buyers remained conservative, purchasing hand-to-mouth, while others retreated to the sidelines after replenishing the week prior. Canadian plywood started the week off brisk, with prices moving up. Then, market players turned their focus to the WRLA show. Little change occurred in particleboard and MDF markets. MDF sales were moderate in the West and South. Producers reported particleboard sales “typical for this time of the year,” many expecting sales activity to improve in the coming weeks.



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