Prompt Material Is Getting Scooped up Quick!

As we approach the midpoint of August, many households are trying to wrap their heads around the upcoming back to school season. Planning is happening across North America on how best to manage children, households, and back to work schedules. At the same time, we are still faced with a lumber market that has run red hot, exploding through any historical pricing that was seen prior to this point.

The potential for a slowdown or a correction, which could have been argued for at any time from mid-July, has just completely disappeared. We’ve seen continual upward momentum and even up to today, there is continued strong takeaway at the mill level, with what appears to be localized demand as well as national demand that is keeping this market moving in one powerful direction.

We certainly understand the frustration that is being felt on all sides of the market. This market is providing continued challenges on both record-setting prices and a real lack of availability, which is equally troublesome. Again, we want you to know that we are here to answer your questions about the market. We will always do our absolute best to try and serve any of your needs. Please reach out to us with any concerns. The more time the better when trying to source material, as the frustrations in the marketplace don’t appear to be dissipating any time soon.

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Dimensional Lumber

Summary

The dimensional markets printed up significantly last week to much frustration at the store and consumer levels as prices maintained their strong push upward. Whether it is narrow boards or wider products, there is still very limited availability and mills that do have prompt material can command a very strong price. They have been able to keep those prices up for several months now.

2x4

We continue to see very little availability from the larger mills with respect to 2x4 #2&btr. It was reported that one of the larger mills came back with some production forecasts that flowed into late September and they were cleaned out very quickly. They subsequently pulled back off the market again.

Regionally, we are seeing small mills come up with some production week-to-week. These loads are being scooped up fairly quickly as there is still a good demand for prompt material to satisfy ongoing projects.

2x6

There had not been too much attention on 2x6 last week, as it appears the focus stayed mostly in the 4” market. With that said, there is very limited 6” availability, in fact, probably less than 4” last week.

As we begin this week, the story remains similar, although we could see an uptick in 2x6 demand with 4” and 6” going through swings in interest back and forth while people look to one and then the other to fill their needs.

2x8

It continues to be very challenging to find 2x8 as there have not been any offerings on lists. Major 8” producers are putting out lists with price updates, however, they are not showing much from an availability standpoint. Any 8” being produced is hitting the hands of consumers prior to material hitting lists. Most likely, it is getting tied up in a lot of contract purchases.

2x10

One item that we did see a little bit of availability on to start the week was 2x10. There were a couple of lists that showed some 2x10, and again there was very aggressive, high pricing on the products. A lot of that did get moved into the marketplace but it was nice to see something on these lists, which had been very sparse for many weeks.

2x12

Being a smaller item in terms of production, we have not seen much 2x12 material on lists. Availability has been sparse and distribution has long been cleaned out as well.


Studs

Availability remains extremely difficult on studs of all trims. 2x4 and 2x6 104s appear to be what everyone is looking for and nobody can find. However, 92s are slightly more accessible with 2x4 92s pricing showing a wide gap over 2x6 92s.

Overall, 2x6 9’ seems to be the product that most people want but it is just not available. There has not been any improvement over the past few weeks in terms of finding the material required.


Treated Lumber

The treated market has continued to frustrate the entire supply chain at this point in time. There was some cautious optimism that we would start to see a little more production expansion to get product out into the hands of the lumber yards by mid- to late-August. But at this point, that may not come to fruition as some had hoped. Mills are continuing to play catchup to try to satisfy demand but they are still not where they want to be.

Distribution yards remain completely picked over. Calls are continuously coming from yards looking for anything they can from distribution and most are reporting that they cannot find what they’re looking for.

Going forward, the hope is that we start to see production ramp up as we push into September but right now the treated market is being assessed from week to week.


MSR Lumber

MSR availability has not improved over the last month. All items remain extremely difficult to find with most items being quoted out 3 to 4 weeks on very limited and broken tallies. We are continuing to struggle out of inventory to get material in and out for prompt shipment. We are currently quoting MSR out in the 2 to 3-week time frame with sparse availability on prompt pick up out of inventory and mill-direct options are out 3-4 weeks.

We are encouraging our customers to look at their MSR needs for over the next 2 to 4 weeks and we will do our best to serve them out of inventory or any direct options that are available.


Panel Products

Summary

The panel market, both OSB and plywood, continues to move ahead in the marketplace with more sales pushing ship weeks out further and further. We don’t see any change in this situation occurring in the near or medium term.

Plywood

The market for plywood has been flat over the last few weeks and sales were slightly softer than they had been. But with such a strong order file, the mills were not concerned as they were given an opportunity to try and catch up on shipping, which by most accounts has not been a successful endeavour.

There was a little uptick in activity late on Friday, where print was flat but mills pushed out their ask levels slightly on the back of pushing out yet another week into the end of October. Railcar availability and the strong sales on Super-Bs have caused one major mill to go back off the market on railcars at this point.

We anticipate plywood is going to continue to show strength and with the extreme surge in OSB, some are definitely finding value at these levels, which is very interesting when you look at current pricing.

OSB

We continue to find new historic levels for OSB as availability, and especially prompt availability remains extremely difficult. We are currently looking at deliveries for mid-October at best.

We are hearing wide spreads on quotes where buyers that are forced to pay for prompt material are certainly paying a premium. There is nothing out there for prompt right now and it has caught a few people flat-footed. At best, we are reaching through October for any price relief, if not through the balance of the year.


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