Random Lengths North American structural panel composite holds at US$363/msf in week of Dec. 13; prices firm from midweek in some markets after early-week discounting helps trigger a round of buying

LOS ANGELES , December 15, 2013 () – The Random Lengths North American structural panel composite held at US$363 per thousand sq. ft. (msf) for a second straight week in the week ending Dec. 13 – down $79 (17.87%) from the price reported at this time last year of $442/msf, Random Lengths reported on Dec. 13 in its weekly Panel Market Report.

Sales activity was mixed in OSB markets, with some buyers seeing a pick-up in activity at midweek and others reporting flat demand - and prices adjusted in both directions, reported Random Lengths. Prices dipped in the North Central region as activity on jobsites slowed because of wintry weather, but in the Southeast prices of 7/16 in. finished $4 higher.

The reported price of the benchmark grade, OSB North Central 7/16 in., dropped $5 (2.17%) to $225/msf from $230/msf in the week ending Dec. 6, and was $120 (34.78%) lower than the price reported a year ago of $345/msf.

The OSB composite held at $260/msf for a second straight week, and was $128 (32.99%) below the price reported at this time last year of $388/msf.

In Southern plywood markets, sales picked up from Tuesday afternoon after a slow start. Mills helped the pick-up by opening to counters early in the week, reported Random Lengths, and thin inventories across the distribution system triggered a round of buying. By Friday morning, most mills’ order files on rated sheathing were booked in to the weeks of Dec. 30 and Jan. 6.

The reported price of Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply dropped $10 (2.67%) to $365/msf after holding at $375/msf in the four previous weeks. Compared to the level a year ago of $410/msf, last week’s reported price was $45 (10.98%) lower.

Southern Plywood Eastside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply held to its reported price of $405/msf for a fourth consecutive week, and was $20 (4.71%) below the price reported at this time last year of $425/msf.

The reported price of Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 4-ply held at $372/msf for a second week, and was $48 (11.43%) lower than the year-ago price of $420/msf.

The Southern pine plywood composite edged $1 (018%) higher to $542/msf, and was $14 (2.52%) below the price reported a year ago of $556/msf.

In Western plywood markets, demand improved from midweek as buyers responded to order files advancing into January, reported Random Lengths. Mills attracted orders by offering discounts at below the previous week’s published levels before increasing prices at midweek.

The reported price of Western Plywood Coast CDX ½ in. 4 ply advanced $10 (2.70%) to $380/msf from $370/msf in the week before, but was $50 (11.63%) below the price reported at this time last year of $430/msf. Random Lengths noted that 1/2 in. 4-ply sheathing sold as low as $355/msf in early trading but mills quoted as high as $390/msf on Friday with sales reported in the high $380s.

The Western fir plywood composite climbed $5 (0.88%) to $571/msf, and was $44 (7.15%) below the price reported at this time last year of $615/msf.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.