Random Lengths framing lumber composite holds at US$377/mbf in week ending July 4; prices generally hold or move modestly higher as sales exceed expectations for holiday week

LOS ANGELES , July 6, 2014 () – The Random Lengths framing lumber composite held at US$377 per thousand board ft. (mbf) in the week ending July 4, and was $50 (15.29%) higher than the price reported at this time a year ago of $327/mbf, Random Lengths reported in its weekly lumber market report.  

Sales were better than expected in a week that included the Canada Day holiday on July 1, and finished with the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the U.S., reported Random Lengths.

In Western SPF markets, trading was quiet and prices remained stable or moved slightly higher – with some mills raising quotes up to $5 above previously quoted levels. Order files were booked as far ahead as the week of July 21, reported Random Lengths, although some mills worked to fill order files in the week of July 14.

The reported price of KD Western SPF #2&Btr 2x4 held at $346/mbf for a second consecutive week, and was $51 (17.29%) higher than the price reported at this time last year of $295/mbf.

Lumber futures prices generally moved lower in small increments, with the exception of Wednesday, July 2, when July gained $3.50 on the day to settle at $337.50/mbf and September advanced $4.80, closing at $337.80/mbf. These gains helped to recover the lost ground, and July futures, which opened on June 30 at $337.80/mbf closed $0.40 (0.12%) lower at $337.40/mbf. September futures opened the week’s trading at $336.90/mbf, and closed $1.20 higher (0.36%) at $338.10/mbf.

Many Eastern SPF traders were out of their offices for the U.S. and Canadian holidays and sales were mixed, reported Random Lengths. The prospect of summer shutdowns and extended order files helped to encourage buyers, and prices climbed modestly.

The reported price of KD Eastern SPF (delivered Great Lakes) #2&Btr 2x4 random advanced $3 (0.69%) to $438/mbf, and was $63 (16.80%) above the price reported a year ago ($375/mbf).

Southern pine prices weakened in spite of active sales at the start of the week, reported Random Lengths. Some traders noted an improvement in truck availability, but job site activity was hindered in some regions by weather conditions that were either too hot, too wet, or both.

The reported price of KD Southern Pine (Westside) #2 2x4 random dipped $2 (0.50%) to $401/mbf, but was $63 (18.64%) above the price reported a year ago of $338/mbf.

Douglas fir sales slowed from midweek, but prices of the narrow widths moved higher as the holiday weekend approached, reported Random Lengths. Portland rate mills increased quotes on Std#2&Btr 2x4 and 2x6 into the $330s, and the reported price of Std&Btr 2x4 gained $5 (1.52%) to reach $333/mbf – up $47 (16.43%) from the price reported at this time last year of $286/mbf.

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