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Random Lengths

Updated every Friday afternoon at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Last update: December 7, 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

Demand for framing lumber was light. Buyers held back amid seasonal slowness, weather, and concerns about the broader U.S. economy. Order files supported mills in holding to established quotes, but budding softness was evident in most producing regions. Traders weighed these issues against announced production cutbacks, both permanent and temporary, but failed to react with any immediate urgency. Declines in a few key items resulted in a $3 drop in the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price. 

  This Week
Dec 7
Last Week
Nov 30
Year Ago
Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price* $340 $343 $434
KD Western S-P-F #2&Btr 2x4 R/L Mill Price 324 346 462
KD Eastern S-P-F #1&2 2x4 R/L, delivered Great Lakes 409 413 535
Green Douglas Fir Std&Btr 2x4 R/L (Portland) 270 280 465
Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 R/L 396 394 457
KD Coast Hem-Fir #2&Btr 2x4 R/L 340 340 490
Ponderosa Pine (Inland) #2&Btr 1x12 R/L 790 785 730
* Weighted average of 15 key items



Random Lengths Panel Market Report

Structural panel buyers lacked urgency, and prices declined amid ample to abundant mill offerings. OSB trading was sparse across North America. Buyers sought a sometimes-tenuous balance between paring inventories for year-end but keeping enough stock on hand to supply customers. Southern Pine plywood traders navigated a stagnant market that revealed little to no urgency throughout the week. Lackadaisical demand persisted in western Fir plywood markets. A few producers reported more interest in sheathing. 

(f.o.b. mill prices) This Week
Dec 7
Last Week
Nov 30
Year Ago
Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite Price* $370 $377 $427
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 3-ply rated sheathing plywood 360-390 360-390 410-470
Southern (west-east) 15/32-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 365-395 365-395 415-475
Western 1/2-inch 4-ply rated sheathing plywood 351 354 442
North Central 7/16-inch Oriented Strand Board 220 230 300
*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

  • A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and exploded October 9 north of Prince George, B.C., has affected wood products producers on both sides of the border. Following recent repairs, U.S. plywood, veneer, and composite panel plants from Washington to Northern California report close to normal supply and price conditions. However, some producers in both B.C. and the U.S. continue to report major price fluctuations.
  • Softwood lumber available to the U.S. market through the third quarter totaled a preliminary 36.964 billion board feet, a 3.5% increase from the like period of 2017. After trailing the year-ago pace through the first half by 2.3%, supplies from importers had turned slightly upward by the end of the third quarter.
  • Each year in late November and early December, looming year-end inventory taxes take on a prominent role in softwood lumber and structural panel trading decisions. The issue is most prevalent in Texas, where distributors and dealers frequently mention the need to trim inventories before year-end to avoid paying the tax on unsold stock on hand.
  • A confluence of factors has led to shorter lengths selling at a premium to longer lengths in Eastern S-P-F. Meanwhile, shorter lengths are closing on the premium of 16s in Western S-P-F.
  • Continuing a trend that began in the fall, retailers have sharply reduced their lumber and panel sales expectations to levels not seen in two to three years, according to a Random Lengths survey conducted in late November.
Sunday, December 09, 2018


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