Random Lengths North American framing lumber composite edges US$2 higher to US$373/mbf in week ending June 20; key reported prices of SPF, Douglas fir rise in double digits, but Southern pine markets remain flat-to-down

LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2014 () – The Random Lengths framing lumber composite increased US$2 (0.54%) in the week ending June 20 to $373 per thousand board ft. (mbf) – up $51 (15.84%) from the price reported at this time last year of $322/mbf, according to Random Lengths’ weekly lumber market report.

Western SPF sales were active from the start of the week, reported Random Lengths, as producers responded to North American demand after selling significant volumes to offshore customers in the previous week. Mills pushed up quotes on #2&Btr narrows as they booked orders into July, with #2&Btr 2x4 quoted at $324/mbf and higher and 2x6 quotes reaching the high $320s.

The reported price of KD Western SPF #2&Btr 2x4 climbed $15 (4.84%) to $325/mbf, and was up $38 (13.24%) from the price reported at this time last year of $287/mbf.
In Eastern SPF markets, trading gathered momentum as the week progressed and was particularly active on Thursday, reported Random Lengths. Mills either firmed or raised quotes on most items, and some talk of summer shutdowns began to circulate.

The reported price of KD Eastern SPF (delivered Great Lakes) #2&Btr 2x4 random increased $12 (2.91%) to $425/mbf, and was $45 (11.84%) higher than the price at this time last year of $380/mbf.

Lumber futures followed a similar pattern, moving sharply higher on Thursday and Friday after remaining generally flat-to-down in the first part of the week. The July contract gained $8.80 on June 19, and a further $6.90 on June 20, settling at $328.70/mbf. September gained $9.60 and $9.30 on Thursday and Friday to finish the week at $327.20/mbf.

Southern pine trading was less active than in SPF markets, with buyers focusing on fill-in buying. Trucking shortages continued to affect buying decisions as loads available for prompt shipment could often take several weeks to arrive, reported Random Lengths. Some mills shifted away from production of #2 2x6 towards 2x4.

The reported price of KD Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 random fell $4 (0.97%) to $410/mbf, but was up $80 (24.24%) from the price a year ago of $330/mbf.

Douglas fir sales picked up from midweek, with producers selling heavy volumes of Std/#2&Btr dimension from late Wednesday to Thursday. Order files on most items extended into July, reported Random Lengths, and quotes on the narrow widths moved sharply higher at Portland-rate mills.

The reported price of green Douglas fir (Portland rate) Std&Btr 2x4 rose $20 (6.83%) to $313/mbf, and was $48 (18.11%) above the price reported at this time last year of $265/mbf. Towards the end of the week, Random Lengths noted that sales were often in a $310-315 range on Std&Btr.

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