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RISI Crow’s Market Recap

Buyers backed off from what traders described as “a good run” over the last month.

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: SPF trading remained subdued, prompting discounts to appear. Several mills in the West held onto quotes, boasting lead times extending into the week of March 11. Futures continued to trend downward throughout the week until a rally appeared Thursday. Southern Pine producers sold less than their output, but solid order files prompted them to nudge prices higher where possible. Buyers backed off from what traders described as “a good run” over the last month. Weather conditions in the form of rain and snow limited takeaways from yards. Coastal species pricing flattened out, due to a decline in sales activity. Several producers reported, “Grinding it out,” while trying to find buyers with needs. Decent order files helped producers limit discounts and outbound calls but negotiated prices did appear. Inland lumber markets congealed into “a quiet standoff.” Prices, which had been actively moving upward, stopped and held their places. Stud pricing remained two-tiered, with some significant divergences reported. Wholesalers continued to sell below replacement costs while mills adjusted quotes downward more aggressively in the latter half of the week. Ponderosa Pine industrial users continued to take advantage of the end-of-season quietness to contemplate their upcoming spring reactions to the market. The Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons market has gained no general strength, although a few selected items have been desirable. A wintery mix of rain and snow limited takeaways from yards across much of the US and Canada. Subsequently, Western Red Cedar producers experienced limited sales calls, but some moderately improved sales activity was reported.

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Feb. 22, 2019.

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

 

Panels: With widespread poor weather blamed as the main driver, OSB continued slow and flat this week. Secondaries, itchy to move wood, tried to sell below mill levels but got little traction. After a lackluster start to the week, Southern Pine plywood producers managed to maintain solid order files either still in the week of March 4 or extended into March 11. Western Fir plywood sales remained a grind. Light demand maintained prompt availability and placed more downward pressure on prices. Order files extended into the week of March 4. Canadian plywood was still stuck in the snow, with very little done due to weather. Order files moved closer in. Particleboard producers reported decent seasonal sales in both regions of the country despite weather conditions. MDF sales were reported good in the East.

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