RISI Crow’s Market Recap

An increasingly bullish air surrounded OSB markets this week in the US South.


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: SPF trading continued at a strong pace, affording producers order files stretching into the latter half of February. This prompted producers to restrict their offerings, sometimes going off the market for a few days. Others entered the market each day with limited offerings. Southern Pine trading remained strong, leading to higher prices. While demand for #2 items was steady, the degree of price appreciation for each dimension was largely due to supply. Solid trading levels kept upward pressure on Coastal species prices. Buyers focused more on purchasing narrow widths than wides. After firming the week prior, green Doug Fir prices gained early and continued to climb. Inland species experienced a strong week. The extent of those changes included all items in both Fir-Larch and Hem-Fir, excepting only Hem-Fir 2×8 #2&Btr. Good demand for studs again prompted producers to elevate prices. After lagging other lengths the last few weeks, demand for 8’ gathered some momentum, selling in greater volumes. Ponderosa Pine industrial lumber showed the same profile as in several previous weeks. Mldg&Btr in both 5/4 and 6/4 was termed “available, but not overbalanced” regarding supply. Ponderosa Pine 4/4 Selects and Commons have returned to a more lackadaisical market, because of the intensified action taking place in dimension lumber. Western Red Cedar trading was lackluster. After seeing sales pick up the week prior, some producers reported a decline in interest from customers. Traders attributed the deep freeze in the Midwest for some of the slower pace.

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Feb. 1, 2019.

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


Panels: An increasingly bullish air surrounded OSB markets this week in the US South, where activity experienced a surge. Curtailments among major producers prodded southern markets, Southern Pine plywood trading kept mill order files extended and rated sheathing pricing tilted upward. Producers and secondaries reported steady sales, pushing out lead times ranging from the weeks of February 11 to 25. Higher quotes were common. Although with not quite the strength of Southern Pine plywood, Western Fir sales kept sheathing pricing at least firm or moving mildly higher. Order files extending out into the week of February 18 were common, but some CDX availability remained for February 4. Canadian plywood activity was quieter than last week due to the bitter cold gripping the country. Some gains in sales were met with moderate activity, giving particleboard and MDF markets a “steady feel.”


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