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Random Lengths

Updated every Friday afternoon at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Last update: August 17, 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

Framing lumber trading hit its fastest stride in more than two months, and the market finished the week with a firm tone. Wildfires in Western Canada and the West were a catalyst sparking sales, firming mill quotes, and lifting futures prices through the week. Buyers needing to replenish — but assurance that downside risk was minimal — stepped in, if more cautiously than earlier in the year. The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price ticked up $1.

  This Week
Aug 17
Last Week
Aug 10
Year Ago
Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price* $441 $440 $414
KD Western S-P-F #2&Btr 2x4 R/L Mill Price 462 442 387
KD Eastern S-P-F #1&2 2x4 R/L, delivered Great Lakes 573 569 489
Green Douglas Fir Std&Btr 2x4 R/L (Portland) 440 435 475
Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 R/L 427 420 373
KD Coast Hem-Fir #2&Btr 2x4 R/L 447 450 430
Ponderosa Pine (Inland) #2&Btr 1x12 R/L 775 775 680
* Weighted average of 15 key items



Random Lengths Panel Market Report

Structural panel prices posted moderate gains amid slower trading. Prices of OSB continued to trend higher in most regions, although the pace of sales moderated. Western Canada was among the most active regions. Southern Pine plywood prices pushed higher throughout the week amid steady sales. Buyers covered their most pressing needs last week at a more frenetic pace, but many returned this week to bolster inventories. In western Fir plywood, a sales turnaround evident last week carried through. 

(f.o.b. mill prices) This Week
Aug 17
Last Week
Aug 10
Year Ago
Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite Price* $466 $461 $453
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 3-ply rated sheathing plywood 425-465 415-455 375-395
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 430-470 420-460 380-400
Western 1/2-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 490 482 485
North Central 7/16-inch Oriented Strand Board 345 345 414
*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

  • The escalating U.S.-China trade fight has expanded into softwood lumber. Several Pine, Fir, and Spruce items were among the $60 billion worth of U.S. products included in the Chinese government’s list of import tariffs of up to 25% if the Trump administration follows through on threats to tax $200 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S.
  • Price spreads between grades of Southern Yellow Pine 2x4 have significantly compressed the past two months as prices in the upper grades have fallen sharply. Prices of #2 and #3 are now bumping into each other.
  • Traders of Western Red Cedar report that last year’s sustained run to record prices is now leading buyers to seek out alternatives, including composites and other imported and domestic lumber products.
  • Building costs, rising mortgage rates, and home prices caught much of the blame for a second straight monthly U.S. housing starts report showing the sector underperforming forecasts and the larger U.S. economy.
Sunday, August 19, 2018


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