PRICES REFLECT May 11, 2018 ISSUE OF MADISON’S LUMBER REPORTER
BENCHMARK 2×4 Kiln Dried R/L Construction Framing Softwood Lumber and Panel Prices Graph: May 11, 2018
Western Spruce-Pine-Fir Soaring :: Weekly Wholesale Prices (net FOB mill)
- Strong sales of Western-Spruce-Pine-Fir lumber in the United States continued unabated, with any production jumped on immediately by apprehensive buyers. Mills maintained four-to-five week order files, plus a week or two for shipping. That additional time for shipment was at least double in Western Canada.
- Alarmingly-depleted field inventories, uncertain transit times, and burgeoning construction activity in virtually every market ensured that buyers were back to the table recursively. Customers were “getting numb to sticker shock” as every time they came back to order wood prices were anywhere from $10-$30 higher.
- Canadian producers of WSPF commodities reported “another really good week” of sales and inquiry. Rail service even improved marginally, with shipment times shrinking in some cases from four weeks closer to two weeks. Some mills have begun loading seven days a week, putting crews to work at time-and-a-half on Saturdays and Sundays in an effort to catch up on shipping.
- Producers were off the market on #2&btr 2×4 and 2×6 by Thursday of this week, with order files typically around five weeks out. Low grade offerings were rabidly sought after by desperate customers trying to flesh out their strapped inventories so they could in turn provide wood to hungry jobsites.
Standard Construction Framing North American Dimension Softwood Lumber and Panel Prices: Wholesale Price May 11, 2018 (net FOB mill North America)
OSB and Plywood (net FOB mill)
- Eastern Canadian plywood wholesalers thought producers were posturing with claims of robust sales and May 28th order files. From their perspective, secondaries described the ESPF plywood market as “quiet” this week, with “most of the action” occurring in OSB and lumber. OSB “took off” this week after some small discounts brought buyers in. “Insanely low” field inventories probably helped.
- WSPF panel dealers had “a better week” with plywood sales as low field inventories got the better of anxious buyers and they stepped in. Meanwhile, OSB mills discounted prices by $5 on thinner sheets, enticing a formidable contingent of fence-sitters who had been waiting for just such a happenstance.