There was a notable announcement made by the Department of Commerce regarding the countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty preliminary findings released on February, 3rd.
This certainly adds another level of confusion to a market that is already struggling to find direction.
We anticipate some more trepidation from mills, end-users, and distributors as the ramifications of the announcement become cleared and more understood. We are waiting to see how it will affect the markets on both the Canadian and US sides.
The Latest on the Softwood Lumber Trade Dispute
As the US Department of Commerce has issued its announcement regarding the issuance of duties on countervailing and anti-dumping for Canadian softwood imports, it should be noted that this decision is preliminary. A final determination is set for August 6th of this year.
Lumber Prices Rise with Hot Home-Building Market
With low mortgage rates firmly in place, the home construction sector has seen the biggest boom since 2006. This has led to rising lumber prices that are up more than 30% from the lows seen last June.
After the Implementation of the US/China Phase 1 Trade Deal, What Happens to Canada?
China has new commitments to fulfill with $32 billion worth of US agricultural purchasing. How will that affect the China/Canada trade situation? It may be time for Canadian businesses to prepare for a dramatic decline in exports to China.
It was another strong week as we saw print up with mills reporting robust sales on the US side as well as into the Canadian market. It seems to be a much more balanced market overall, with very limited mills showing a buildup of material at this point. So there appears to be a little more health overall throughout the marketplace.
Mills have been content to continue selling while modestly pushing ask prices up. The understanding is that they want to bolster their order files and continue the purchasing trend. Mills are happy with their returns at the moment so they do not want to slow the momentum.
The 6” market was flat on print last week with strong activity, but availability seems to be fairly spotty, more so than on 2x4. Although we did see more availability in the 2x6 16’ #2&btr market, there was scarcity on the shorter lengths, which led to some odd tally offerings.
The market has firmed up with some strong takeaway and the overall market continues to find its balance point. We are seeing some definite tightness and strong pricing on 16’ material. The long lengths are still difficult to find through a shortage of inventory with 18’ and 20’ products commanding a premium.
2x10 was quietly moving along but we then saw large takeaway as mills sold very well. It has become very difficult to find 2x10 material of any sort as last week concluded. As mills come back to the market this week, prices are up aggressively, following the sales pace. Expect to pay a significant premium this week, as compared to last week. We will be watching 2x10, to see how the market absorbs these new higher prices.
There was some more availability on 2x12 but it was short-lived. Late last week, trying to find tallies with a reasonable number of 16’ material proved to be a challenge. Mills were firm on their prices and offered flat tallies, at best.
Prices are up on all of the benchmark stud lengths in the West. We continue to see some upward momentum on 2x4 92s and 2x6 92s. Both appear higher over the last few weeks.
As well, 2x6 104s have been hard to locate. Overall, there are some wide price spreads depending on the mill. This has narrowed down quality and options.
The treated season is approaching. We haven’t addressed treated material much over the last few weeks as we were in the lull period before yards begin filling up for the upcoming rush.
We are still in that quiet mode but we are starting to see products ship to the yards. On a point of interest, the strengthening of the whitewood market should certainly lead to rising prices in the treated market. We may see good value to start the season and if the trend continues, we should find that prices appreciate over the months leading up to the summer.
Much like #2&btr, MSR has started to rise over the past week or so. Availability on 2100 is especially tight, with 2x6 1650 also seeing that same tightness through the last week to 10 days.
There is still some good value in 2x4 1650, as the premium is not very significant over #2&btr material, making it a viable option. That has been the case for some time now. We are seeing mill availability to be out 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the item.
We advise you to stay on top of your inventory needs over the next coming weeks. Contact our team for competitive pricing and availability, and LTL out of our many inventory locations.
The panel market has certainly heated up on both fronts last week and into this week. Plywood and OSB producers are pushing prices up and order files out significantly.
Mills continue the sales trend that began the week prior. Print reflected this with a 3% increase. Mills are asking and selling above that level, which was the case even prior to print being up.
Plywood is being quoted into the week of February 24th as pricing is still at a level where mills would like to find more appreciation, although they are higher than the record lows. Happy with the sales pace, mills have built up a decent order file into February with the hope of slowly pushing it into March. This would get them into a spring market when we can expect prices to continue climbing.
Starting in the middle of last week, the OSB market got hot. We saw one major Canadian producer go off-market and back on a couple times at higher numbers. As of Tuesday, they remained off-market, perhaps for the balance of the week.
Random Length Western Canadian print responded last Friday, printing up $25. We will see further increases to pricing midweek and at the end of this week.
Please keep in mind that we have well-priced weekly Lumber, Plywood and OSB contracts. We also have fully stocked inventories with LTL options to cover any necessary requirements.
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