Random Lengths North American structural panel composite slides US$2 to US$340/msf, Western plywood discounts spark round of buying activity

LOS ANGELES , April 8, 2012 () – In the week ending April 6, the Random Lengths structural panel composite dropped to $340 per thousand sq. ft. (msf), down $2 (0.58%) from $342/msf in the previous week. Compared to the price at the same time last year of $302/msf, the composite was $38 (12.58%) higher.

OSB price trends varied from region to region, reported Random Lengths. Sales were heavy in the Southwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, but in the Southeast, trading was quiet and prices dropped $7.

The price of the benchmark grade, OSB North Central 7/16 in., climbed $5 (2.48%) to $207/msf from $202/msf in the previous week, and was $29 (16.29%) higher than the price reported at this time last year ($178/msf).

The OSB composite slid $1 (0.42%) to $238/msf from $239 in the week before, and was up $28 (13.33 %) from the price at this time last year ($210/msf).

In Southern plywood markets, a few mills lowered quotes on rated sheathing and double-digit discounts were reported. Pricing weakened further in some zones as customers pushed hard for even wider discounts, and Random Lengths noted that $10 reductions on 15/32 in. and thicker panels were available in all zones.

The reported price of Southern plywood eastside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply moved $5 (1.27%) higher to $400/msf – up $50 (14.29%) from the price reported at this time last year ($350/msf).

Southern plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply edged down $3 (0.8%) to $372/msf after holding at $375/msf in the previous three weeks. The price on Friday was $37 (11.04%) higher than the level at this time last year of $335/msf.

Southern plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 4-ply dropped $10 (2.60%) to $375/msf from $385 in the previous three weeks. The price on Friday was $35 (10.29%) above the year-ago level of $340/msf.

The Southern plywood composite ended the week $6 (1.14%) lower at $521/msf, but was up $70 (15.52%) from the price at this time a year ago of $451/msf.

Western plywood markets started the week on a quiet note, but discounting by some mills helped to spark a round of buying activity. The reported price of Western Plywood Coast CDX 1/2 in. 4-ply sheathing fell $5 (1.35%) from $370/msf in the week before to $365/msf, but compared to the price reported at this time last year ($340/msf), the price was $25 (7.35%) higher. Random Lengths noted that a few quotes dipped into the $350s on Wednesday before producers restored quotes to the previous week’s level.

The Western fir plywood composite dropped $3 (0.56 %) to $531/msf from $534/msf in the week before, and was $49 (10.17 %) higher than the price reported a year ago ($482/msf).

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