Inflation in US prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) declined 0.5 per cent in February, according to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics March 13. The decline was dominated by a decline in prices for services and within services prices for trade, transportation, and warehousing. Prices for goods also declined led by falling food prices. Energy prices levelled off in February after declines accelerated through the second half of last year and reached -10.3 per cent in January.
Softwood lumber prices declined 1.6 per cent in February. Analysts point to softer than expected US single family construction in 2014, inventory management on the part of distributors, and softening overseas markets as factors. Additional declines will be tempered going forward by possible log shortages and continuing transportation bottlenecks.
Prices for OSB declined 2.9 per cent after modest upticks in the prior three months. The return of mothballed capacity since 2013 has supply outpacing demand. The PPI for OSB indicates a 46 per cent decline from the price peak in March 2013.