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Market Recap: RISI Crow's Construction Materials Cost Index

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for July 1, 2011

*Western - regional species perimeter foundation; Southern - regional species slab construction.

Crow's Market Recap -- A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow's Weekly Market Report.  

LUMBER: Sales activity in the SPF lumber market increased. Mills raised prices early and continued to do so throughout the week, with narrow width #2&Btr pricing ending $10-15 higher. Competition for orders among Southern Pine lumber producers forced more discounting. Despite already low price levels, discounts of $5-10 were abundant. Sales of Coastal species lumber maintained a solid pace. All dry Doug Fir prices managed increases of at least $5 and green prices were consistent. Coastal Hem-Fir 2x4 and 2x12 #2&Btr held, while those widths in between climbed $5 higher. Inland species lumber prices have remained near recent levels and have gained a few dollars in some items. Fir-Larch remains stronger than Hem-Fir, based on shortness of supply. Strongest of all the items in Ponderosa Pine are the low grades. Both #3 Shop and P99 are in demand, bringing premiums of up to $30 for some producers. The 6/4 Shop is still tighter than 5/4, and 6/4 Mldg&Btr now sells for up to $1430. Both #3 and #4 Common are moving better than #2, with #3 riding the demand from exports.

PANELS:Mill buildups of Western Fir plywood were sold in order to establish a better position heading into the holiday weekend, usually with discounts. The Southern Pine plywood market lacked energy, neither negative nor positive. Prices were static, for the most part, although some exhibited a soft bias. OSB prices in all zones are very flat, although producers continue to reach for a few extra dollars in the Southeast. The conditions in Canadian plywood have become routine: production adjustments as needed to accommodate mediocre demand. The baseline price of C$299 for 9.5 mm CSP sheathing delivered to Toronto is still in place, although some producers continue to promote slightly firmer levels. Most particleboard and MDF producers in both the West and South have been able to capture much of their planned price increases, but with demand being soft it has been a difficult proposition.

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