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Random Lengths

Updated every Friday afternoon at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Last update: September 22, 2017.

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Random Lengths Lumber and Panel Market Report

Go to: Lumber Report |Panel Report | Industry News in Through a Knothole

This report contains brief excerpts from our full 12-page newsletter, which includes prices of more than 1,600 lumber and panel items, plus detailed summaries of market activity. Contact Random Lengths for a free sample issue.

Random Lengths Lumber Market Report

Sales of framing lumber cooled modestly from the previous week, but they were strong enough for producers to maintain upward pressure on prices. Buyers tended to purchase cautiously, wary of an eventual market turn at what are historically higher price levels in most species. However, the need to replenish amongst a wide cross section of buyers fed a steady flow of orders back to the mills. An $8 gain in the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price pushed the index to $429, its highest level since March 2013.

  This Week
Sep 22
Last Week
Sep 15
Year Ago
Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price* $429 $421 $352
KD Western S-P-F #2&Btr 2x4 R/L Mill Price 423 416 312
KD Eastern S-P-F #1&2 2x4 R/L, delivered Great Lakes 524 512 410
Green Douglas Fir Std&Btr 2x4 R/L (Portland) 472 467 332
Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 R/L 403 386 415
KD Coast Hem-Fir #2&Btr 2x4 R/L 450 440 327
Ponderosa Pine (Inland) #2&Btr 1x12 R/L 675 675 680
* Weighted average of 15 key items


Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Graph


Random Lengths Panel Market Report

Structural panel prices surged for a third consecutive week. Extended mill order files and lean inventories fueled OSB prices to another round of double-digit increases across the South. Brisk sales to home centers jostled an otherwise conservative trading pace in the region. Demand for Southern Pine plywood calmed down a bit, but extended order files, mills off the market, and transportation issues kept upward pressure on most prices. Western Fir plywood sales slowed modestly, largely because highly desired prompt loadings were non-existent.

(f.o.b. mill prices) This Week
Sep 22
Last Week
Sep 15
Year Ago
Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite Price* $521 $504 $383
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 3-ply rated sheathing plywood 500-520 480-495 355-375
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 505-520 485-500 355-380
Western 1/2-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 521 515 407
North Central 7/16-inch Oriented Strand Board 445 435 300
*Weighted average of 11 key items




Industry News In "Through A Knothole"

Below are headlines of recent articles in the "Through A Knothole" section of our full 12-page newsletter, featuring articles of interest to the industry, including production/price trends, market analysis, trade issues, timber supplies, and much more. Contact Random Lengths for a free sample issue.

This Week in the "Through a Knothole" Section of Random Lengths

  • Softwood lumber production in the South has outpaced the West for several years, but the region may be poised to carve out an even greater share of overall U.S. output in the years ahead.
  • Softwood lumber and structural panel traders will spend much of the fourth quarter gauging how their respective markets are adjusting to a record wildfire season in the West and historic hurricane damage in the Gulf region.
  • Housing starts in the U.S. continued to underperform early 2017 forecasts, with August showing a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.180 million units.
  • Economic growth will continue at a slow pace in the next two years and, as one result, lumber consumption will increase only gradually. That’s according to analysts who presented forecasts at Forest Economic Advisors’ seventh annual conference September 12 in Portland, Ore.
  • Prices of OSB have reached higher levels in past years, but traders would be hard-pressed to find a longer upward trend than the one that has existed for the majority of 2017.
  • The recreational vehicle industry is in the midst of a record-breaking year for shipments, and composite panel producers are feeling the positive effects.
Sunday, September 24, 2017


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