Random Lengths North American structural panel composite drops US$3 on Jan. 31 to US$357/msf; southern pine plywood composite drops US$6 to US$533/msf after cold snap costs several producers up to three days of production

LOS ANGELES , February 2, 2014 () – The Random Lengths North American structural panel composite dropped US$3 (0.83%) to $357 per thousand sq. ft. (msf) in the week ending Jan. 31, a decline of $121 (25.31%) from the price reported at this time last year of $478/msf.

For the month of January as a whole, the panel composite averaged $364/msf, down $1 (0.27%) from the average in December 2013 of $365/msf, and $119 (24.64%) below the average in Jan. 2013 of $483/msf, according to Random Lengths data. The average for 2013 was $426/msf, $42 (10.94%) higher than the average in 2012 of $384/msf.

OSB sales were flat or slightly lower in some regions as traders continued to grapple with wintry weather, transportation issues and exchange rates, reported Random Lengths. Some Canadian mills adjusted quotes in response to the weakening currency, but prices to delivered markets remained flat. Weather suppressed demand in the North Central zone, while mills in the southern U.S. invited counters and prices in the Southwest fell by up to $8.

The price of the benchmark grade, OSB North Central 7/16 in., fell $2 (0.90%) to $220/msf, and was $178 (44.72%) below the price reported at this time last year of $398/msf.

The OSB composite fell $3 (1.13%) to $263/msf from $266/msf in the week of Jan. 24, and was $179 (40.50%) lower than the price at this time last year of $442/msf.

Southern plywood sales improved in line with the weather from Friday, after several producers lost up to three days of production earlier in the week and a number of sales offices had to close, reported Random Lengths. Some rated sheathing producers opened to offers to push order files beyond the week of Feb. 3, and most prices finished the week down $5 on the westside. In the central and eastside zones, prices dropped about $10.

The reported price of Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply dropped $5 (1.39%) to $355/msf, and was $65 (15.48%) lower than the price reported at this time a year ago of $420/msf.

Southern Plywood Eastside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply also dropped $10 (2.53%), to $385/msf from $395/msf, and was down $50 (11.49%) from the year-ago price of $435/msf.

The reported price of Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 4-ply fell $5 (1.39%) to $355/msf, and was $80 (18.39%) below the price reported at this time a year ago of $435/msf.

The Southern pine plywood composite dropped $6 (1.11%) to $533/msf, and was down $34 (6.00%) from the price reported in the same week of 2013 (567/msf).

In Western plywood markets, sales were slow as traders delayed purchases because of the cold weather, reported Random Lengths. Producers reported a pick-up in interest as traders began to sense diminishing downside risk, and worked hard to hold to quoted levels.

The reported price of Western Plywood Coast CDX ½ in. 4 ply held at $365/msf for a second straight week, and was $85 (18.89%) lower than the price reported at this time a year ago of $450/msf.

The Western fir plywood composite dropped $1 (0.18%) from the previous week’s price of $562/msf, and was $72 (11.37%) below the price reported at this time last year of $633/msf.

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