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Random Lengths

Updated every Friday afternoon at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Last update: April 20, 2018.

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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

Gains in seasonal demand helped producers regain command of the framing lumber market, and many prices moved higher. Green Douglas Fir was the major exception, as prices fell in chunks before mills saw any renewed interest from customers. As warmer weather spurred increased demand, supply-side issues — mostly involving freight logistics — remained at the forefront. With gains in dry species outweighing the rout in green Fir, the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price rose $4, to $498. 

  This Week
Apr 20
Last Week
Apr 13
Year Ago
Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price* $498 $494 $437
KD Western S-P-F #2&Btr 2x4 R/L Mill Price 556 546 410
KD Eastern S-P-F #1&2 2x4 R/L, delivered Great Lakes 630 620 489
Green Douglas Fir Std&Btr 2x4 R/L (Portland) 530 540 395
Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 R/L 554 554 502
KD Coast Hem-Fir #2&Btr 2x4 R/L 560 547 425
Ponderosa Pine (Inland) #2&Btr 1x12 R/L 755 755 655
* Weighted average of 15 key items


Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Graph


Random Lengths Panel Market Report

Structural panel trading was cautious, and prices shifted mildly. Prices of OSB were mostly unchanged, although cracks appeared in some markets. This was most apparent in Eastern Canada, where producers had loads available for quick shipment. Sales of Southern Pine rated sheathing picked up at midweek, as buyers stepped back in to replenish depleted inventories. Western Fir plywood trading was steady, but unspectacular. Sheathing sales picked up Wednesday. 

(f.o.b. mill prices) This Week
Apr 20
Last Week
Apr 13
Year Ago
Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite Price* $529 $528 $426
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 3-ply rated sheathing plywood 500-545 490-540 385-410
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 505-550 495-545 390-415
Western 1/2-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 520 521 441
North Central 7/16-inch Oriented Strand Board 405 405 333
*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

  • Traders cite several factors for a record run in western Fir sanded plywood prices. Chief among them is a reported drop in imports from Chile, as well as punitive duties imposed on Chinese hardwood plywood imports — at a time when U.S. demand is rising.
  • Compensation Survey: 2017 was a banner year in the softwood lumber industry, with prices of nearly 300 items setting records. That trend was clearly reflected in wholesale/distribution managers’ reported income, which rebounded sharply from a 2016 decline and set its own record last year.
  • Price spreads between #2&Btr 2x4 studs stamped Douglas Fir (D Fir) and Fir&Larch (D Fir-L) have been inconsistent over the past decade, while the species themselves have been largely interchangeable.
  • U.S. housing starts through the first quarter averaged a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.318 million units, up 6.5% from the same period of 2017.
Sunday, April 22, 2018


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