Random Lengths North American framing lumber composite advances US$4 to US$377/mbf in week ending June 27; average composite price for June of US$374/mbf is US$45 higher year-over-year

LOS ANGELES , June 30, 2014 () – The Random Lengths framing lumber composite increased US$4 (1.07%) in the week ending June 27 to $377 per thousand board ft. (mbf) – up $53 (16.36%) from the price reported at this time last year of $324/mbf, according to Random Lengths’ latest weekly lumber market report.

For June as a whole, the lumber composite averaged $374/mbf, down $4 (1.06%) from the previous month, but $45 (13.68%) higher than the average in June 2013 of $239/mbf. The average for 2013 was $384/mbf, $62 (19.25%) higher than in 2012 ($322/mbf).

In Western SPF markets, prices gained early in the week as sales surged, and mills pushed up prices again in late trading, citing tight supplies, reported Random Lengths. Order files extended into mid-July and beyond, and prices of the narrows of #2&Btr posted $20 gains on the week with 2x4 reaching the mid- to upper-$340s.

The reported price of KD Western SPF #2&Btr 2x4 climbed $21 (6.46%) to $346/mbf, and was up $54 (18.49%) from the price reported at this time last year of $292/mbf.

Lumber futures were generally on an upward trend during the week, with the biggest daily gains on Thursday, June 26, when July finished $4.60 higher at $338.90/mbf and September increased $4.70 to $340.50/mbf. Prices lost some of the gains on Friday, and the July contract ended down $1.40 on the day to close the week at $337.50/mbf. September dropped $3.80 to close on Friday at $336.70/mbf.

A pick-up in Eastern SPF demand and tight supplies in the week ending June 27 lifted Eastern SPF prices. At mill level, sales were largely driven by distributors, reported Random Lengths, and order files extended into mid-July. Scheduled summer shutdowns and the imminent holiday-shortened week added to buyers’ sense of urgency.

The reported price of KD Eastern SPF (delivered Great Lakes) #2&Btr 2x4 random increased $10 (2.35%) to $435/mbf, and was $62 (16.62%) higher than the price at this time last year of $373/mbf.

Southern pine demand was steady-to-strong from treaters, truss manufacturers and the retail sector, reported Random Lengths, but many wholesalers held back. Trucking shortages continued to create problems for producers, who shifted loads to railcars where possible, but reported growing inventories. One producer on the westside reportedly had to reduce production due to lack of space to store loads that were sold but unshipped.

The reported price of KD Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 random fell $7 (1.71%) to $403/mbf, but was up $70 (21.02%) from the price a year ago of $333/mbf.

In Douglas fir markets, momentum from the previous week helped to push quotes of Std/#2&btr higher, although the pace of sales was more measured, reported Random Lengths.

Many buyers covered needs ahead of the July 4 holiday, and prices of the narrow widths rose by double digits – with Std&Btr and #2&Btr 2x4 and 2x6 finishing $13-15 higher at Portland-rate mills.

The reported price of green Douglas fir (Portland rate) Std&Btr 2x4 rose $15 (4.79%) to $328/mbf, and was $51 (18.41%) above the price reported at this time last year of $277/mbf. 

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