Random Lengths North American framing lumber composite slides US$2 to US$316/mbf, turnaround in futures market helps support US$5 gain in reported price of KD Western SPF #2&Btr 2x4 to US$288/mbf

LOS ANGELES , July 8, 2012 () – The Random Lengths North American framing lumber composite slipped US$2 (0.63%) in the week ending July 6 to $316 per thousand board ft. (mbf), but was $50 (18.80%) higher than the level at this time a year ago of $266/mbf.

Trading and price trends were mixed during the holiday week, reported Random Lengths, but sales generally kept up with reduced output in the U.S. and Western Canada. Sales of Western SPF #2&Btr were steady, helped along by a turnaround in the futures market after the July 4 holiday.

The reported price of KD Western SPF #2&Btr 2x4 climbed $5 (1.77%) to $288/mbf , and was $37 (14.74%) above the price reported at this time last year of $251/mbf.

Lumber futures moved sharply higher on Thursday on firmer cash sales and technical support, extending gains made on Tuesday before markets closed for the July 4 holiday. September and November futures ended limit-up at $282.80/mbf and $272/mbf respectively, and the July contract closed at a five-week high of $288.80/mbf – up $6.30 from Tuesday.

On Friday, profit-taking following Thursday’s gains led to a $5.50 dip in the July contract to $283.30/mbf, but September reached a 5½-week high and closed the week at $287.90/mbf, up $5.10 from Thursday. Cash prices were reported in a $290-$295 range.

Eastern SPF sales picked up from Thursday, and this helped prices to recover most of the losses made earlier in the week. The reported price of KD Eastern SPF (delivered Great Lakes) #1&2 2x4 held at $385/mbf for a second week, and was $50 (14.93%) above the level reported at this time last year of $335/mbf.

Southern pine prices remained weak, although cuts were generally in smaller increments than those of recent weeks, reported Random Lengths. The largest price gains, of up to $10 on the Westside, were seen in #2 2x6. The reported price of KD Southern pine (Westside) #2 2x4 random fell $5 (1.52%) to $323/mbf, but was $68 (26.67%) higher than the price reported at this time a year ago of $255/mbf.

The pick-up in Douglas fir markets from Wednesday, June 27, carried over into last week with sales reaching $165-$270 in #2&Btr 2x6. Prices also continued to edge higher in Std&Btr, #2&Btr and #1&Btr.

The reported price of Green Douglas fir (Portland rate) Std&Btr 2x4 advanced $5 (2.04%) to $250/mbf, but was $10 (3.85%) lower than the price reported at this time last year ($260/mbf).

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