PRICES REFLECT MARCH 27, 2020 ISSUE OF MADISON’S LUMBER REPORTER
BENCHMARK 2×4 Kiln Dried R/L #Construction #Framing #North #American #Softwood #Lumber and Panel Prices Graphs: March 27, 2020
Western SPF: USA Decrease
- The US housing market kicked off 2020 in great shape but widespread panic among consumers and shutdown of non-essential economic players is expected to halt that promising momentum, just as spring building season should be ramping up.
- Meanwhile, more than 30 forestry and wood products conferences have been postponed or outright cancelled due to the coronavirus.
- Last week Western Spruce-Pine-Fir suppliers in the US noted another dramatic decrease in demand even while sawmill order files continued to shrink.
- As transit volumes were lower due to reduced production volumes everywhere because scores of buyers, sellers, and producers went into self-quarantine, availability of rail cars and trucks continued to get tighter as drivers opted to move higher-value, more critical goods than lumber.
Softwood Lumber Prices Market-Leading Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD (RL) 2×4 #2&Btr Lumber Prices Graph: March 27, 2020
Western SPF: Canada Struggle
- Mere weeks after Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers Union representing coastal forestry workers settled a nine-month long labour dispute, the company announced on Monday last week it will curtail production in British Columbia for one week due to the coronavirus.
- Elsewhere, West Fraser also announced a one-week curtailment of all operations in BC effective March 30th, as well as the temporary shutdown of two WSPF plywood mills after an employee at one of those facilities tested positive for COVID-19. West Fraser’s lumber production will be reduced by 24 million board feet, while plywood volumes will drop by 6,500 msf per week.
- Canadian Western Spruce-Pine-Fir producers slashed prices again on Appearance Grade / High Line and #2&Btr offerings in an effort to find a better price level, while low grade / #3 prices hung in there by comparison.
- Rail car availability hovered around 60 per cent for most sawmills, while Northern BC operations received as little as 13 per cent of their weekly allotments.
- Sourcing trucks was especially difficult in some parts of the US.
Standard Construction Framing North American Dimension Softwood Lumber and Panel Prices: Wholesale Price March 27, 2019 (net FOB mill North America)