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Updated every Friday afternoon at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Last update: December 13, 2013.
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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.
A midweek pickup in demand bounced prices of some key framing lumber items off their lows for the week, and trading finished the week with a more upbeat tone. The narrows of Western S-P-F, Eastern S-P-F, and green Douglas Fir stood out for their level of activity and rebound in pricing from earlier lows. In contrast, downward price pressure intensified in Southern Pine, as mills sought trading levels more aggressively to keep buildups in check. It was aggressive pricing earlier in the week that primed the pump in S-P-F.
|Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price*||$379||$388||$364|
|KD Western S-P-F #2&Btr 2x4 R/L Mill Price||355||358||362|
|KD Eastern S-P-F #1&2 2x4 R/L, delivered Great Lakes||450||461||452|
|Green Douglas Fir Std&Btr 2x4 R/L (Portland)||325||323||300|
|Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 R/L||416||426||410|
|KD Coast Hem-Fir #2&Btr 2x4 R/L||375||382||370|
|Ponderosa Pine (Inland) #2&Btr 1x12 R/L||835||835||500|
|* Weighted average of 15 key items|
Structural panel sales picked up late in the week after a sluggish start. OSB producers saw mixed results, and prices adjusted in both directions. Activity picked up at midweek in some regions, but others languished through the week. After a slow start, Southern Pine plywood sales kicked into gear Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. Mills helped get the ball rolling by opening to counters early in the week. Demand for western Fir plywood picked up at midweek, as buyers saw more mills push order files into January.
|(f.o.b. mill prices)||This Week
|Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite Price*||$363||$363||$442|
|Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 3-ply rated sheathing plywood||365-405||370-405||410-425|
|Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood||372-410||372-410||420-450|
|Western 1/2-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood||380||370||430|
|North Central 7/16-inch Oriented Strand Board||225||230||345|
|*Weighted average of 11 key items|
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
- Canada is ensured tax-free shipping to the U.S. during January, marking the 10th month in the last 13 in which market levels have been high enough to eliminate taxes and quotas under terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. The dates for determining the tax and quotas for all of 2014 have been published.
- New anti-pollution regulations that take effect January 1 in California have truckers and shippers concerned that trucks available to haul to the Golden State could tighten further.
- Escalating log prices are squeezing veneer producers, who in turn are levering up their prices at time when plywood lay-ups are struggling to pass on these increased costs to their customers.
- Lumber production through the first three quarters of 2013 was up 6.3% from the same period of 2012.
- Retailers in the U.S. have bumped up their three-month sales expectations, according to a monthly Random Lengths survey taken in early December.