Random Lengths North American structural panel composite continues upward trajectory with US$11 gain to US$433/msf, OSB price increases continue in double digits

LOS ANGELES , November 12, 2012 () – The Random Lengths North American structural panel composite gained US$11 (2.61%) in the week ending Nov. 9 to reach $433 per thousand sq. ft. (msf) - up from $422/msf in the previous week. Compared to the price at this time a year ago of $289/msf, the composite was $144 (49.83%) higher.

OSB markets slowed a little from the previous week’s pace but still showed double-digit price gains, according to Random Lengths. Planned shutdowns for the forthcoming holiday period alerted the market to a restricted supply in December, but many buyers felt reluctant to buy too far ahead. Some of the week's biggest gains were seen in the Southwest, where 7/16 in. finished at $330/msf.

The price of the benchmark grade, OSB North Central 7/16 in., climbed $15 (4.62%)to $340/msf - up $158 (86.81%) from the price reported at this time last year of $182/msf.

The OSB composite rose by $18 (5%) to $378/msf from $360/msf in the week before, and was $178 (89%) higher than the price reported at this time last year of $200/msf.

In Southern plywood markets, steady sales helped to push sheathing prices higher, but activity slowed compared to the week before as traders attended the North American Wholesale Lumber Assn.'s gathering in Chicago.

The reported price of Southern Plywood Eastside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply edged up $5 (1.19%) to $425/msf, a gain of $100 (30.77%) over the price reported a year ago ($325/msf).

The reported price of Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply gained $8 (2%) to reach $408/msf, and was $116 (39.73%) higher than the year-ago level of $292/msf.

Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 4-ply rose by $7 (1.72%) to $415/msf, and was $116 (38.8%) higher than the price at this time last year of $299/msf.

The Southern plywood composite advanced $7 (1.29%) to $550/msf from $543/msf , and was $122 (28.5%) higher than the price reported at this time last year of $428/msf.

Western plywood sales slowed, and mills leaned on order files booked into the weeks of Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, reported Random Lengths. Traders reported that western plywood's delivered price advantage over Southern pine continued in crossover markets, and that it was competitive with OSB in a few cases.

The reported price of Western Plywood Coast CDX ½ in. 4-ply rose by $10 (2.6%) to $395/msf, and was $72 (22.29%) higher than the price reported a year ago ($323/msf). Random Lengths noted that reported prices of ½ in 4- and 5-ply sheathing both increased by double digits for a second straight week, despite the slower sales pace.

The Western fir plywood composite rose $5 (0.85%) to $595/msf, and was $130 (27.96%) higher than the price reported a year ago of $465/msf.

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