Random Lengths North American structural panel composite drops US$7 in week of April 4 to US$355/msf; several Southern plywood prices fall in double digits as traders work to find market levels

LOS ANGELES , April 6, 2014 () – The Random Lengths North American structural panel composite dropped US$7 (1.93%) in the week ending April 4 to US$355 per thousand sq. ft. (msf) – down $163 (31.47%) from year-ago price of $518/msf, reported Random Lengths in its weekly panel market report.

A long-awaited spring pick-up in OSB sales failed to materialize, and activity in the North was particularly quiet as wintry weather continued to dampen demand, reported Random Lengths. Some producers in the North Central region and Canada opened to discounts of $5-10 but rejected deeper counters, while prices drifted $2-8 lower in the South.

The price of the benchmark grade, OSB North Central 7/16 in., dropped $5 (2.35%) to $208/msf, and was $212 (50.48%) below the price reported at this time last year of $420/msf.

The OSB composite fell $5 (2.00%) to $245/msf, and was down $238 (49.28%) from the price reported a year ago of $483/msf.

Southern plywood producers worked to find price levels that would allow them to stay ahead of their order files, reported Random Lengths, and by Friday several were booked into the week of April 14. Rated sheathing prices fell sharply with the biggest cuts seen in the thicker panels.

The reported price of Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply dropped $7 (1.87%) to $368/msf – down $132 (26.40%) from the price reported at this time last year of $500/msf.

Southern Plywood Eastside CDX 15/32 in. 3-ply fell $15 (3.66%) on the week to $395/msf, and was $125 (24.04%) below the price reported at this time last year of $520/msf.

Southern Plywood Westside CDX 15/32 in. 4-ply also dropped by $15 (3.92%) to $368/msf, and was down $137 (27.13%) from the price a year ago of $505/msf.

The Southern Pine Plywood composite fell $11 (2.00%) to $539/msf, and was down $109 (16.82%) from the price reported at this time last year of $648/msf.

In Western plywood markets, activity was uneven, but traders sensed a more upbeat tone in some regions, reported Random Lengths. Demand improved in many markets, although dealers remained cautious about the market’s future direction and often had little need to replenish inventories. Prices dipped in early trading and finished slightly lower than the previous week’s levels.

The reported price of Western Plywood Coast CDX ½ in. 4 ply dropped $5 (1.33%) to $372/msf, and was $103 (21.68%) below the price reported a year ago of $475/msf. Random Lengths noted that prices dipped to the low $360s in early trading, but had settled in the low $370s by Friday.

The Western fir plywood composite dropped $3 (0.53%) to $564/msf, and was $88 (13.50%) below than the price reported at this a year ago ($652/msf).

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