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RISI Crow’s Market Recap

Southern Pine prices gathered more momentum as buyers looked beyond immediate needs to purchase greater volumes.

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: Market activity in SPF remained brisk early with slowing noted Thursday in response to a down-limit move in futures. Producers pushed prices early then tended to hold close to those level the remainder of the week. Southern Pine prices gathered more momentum as buyers looked beyond immediate needs to purchase greater volumes. Producers reported order files extending a solid two to three weeks. Coastal species demand kept upward pressure on prices of both dry and green. Buyers able to substitute Hem-Fir for SPF, which was quoted for shipment in early March, took advantage of those volumes. Momentum that began to build two weeks ago in Inland species gained further strength this week, affecting prices across the board in both Fir-Larch and Hem-Fir. Demand for studs remained good, prompting producers to again raise prices. Gains were made across most items, including finger joint, as supplies remained tight. Sales slowed toward the week’s end. Western Canadian producers reported receiving fewer railcars for loading. Ponderosa Pine industrial users were quite positive in their expectations for the year. Prices, which softened in some of the lower grades until a couple of weeks ago, were reported stable. Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons remained something of a market afterthought, as buyers focused their attention on a dimension market that gathered more momentum this session. Western Red Cedar producers reported various amounts of sales activity, although nothing very robust.

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Feb. 8, 2019.

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

 

Panels: From last week, OSB markets slowed after a little surge. Source felt the market contains better strength, seeing deliberate upward movement, but no runaway. A steadiness to the Southern Pine plywood market remained in place. Producers managed to maintain the length of order files and hold truckload prices or edge them slightly higher. Any energy in the Western Fir plywood market remained limited, with several producers reporting a slower sales pace than the week prior. Mill order files moved into the week of February 18, but key items remained available a week sooner. Canadian plywood activity remained quiet again this week. With order files out to March 4-18, mills stayed firm on pricing. A mix of reports came from particleboard producers, some of it due to customers aligning themselves with suppliers prior to Arauco’s Grayling mill startup. Cold weather the prior week was blamed for some of the lackluster pace of sales in both particleboard and MDF.

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