The last week of February is upon us and with it, the weather has turned mild across the Western provinces. This has led to some strong and positive expectations about the building season and the excitement to start taking advantage of the upcoming activity.
With that said, we are in a tight spot as prices have appreciated significantly across all sectors of the market over the past several weeks. This has led to a challenge for the building sector to bid and price projects appropriately as they try to balance off the new costs and the ability to stay competitive in securing new tenders.
It should be an interesting market over the next 4 to 6 weeks as thoughts continue to dwell on the upcoming busy buying season.
A Runup in the Markets
We have observed an incredible short-term increase in pricing over the last several weeks, some of this had to do with rail issues that crept into the market in the form of blockades.
Futures played a part in this as well, which in large part had to do with technical trading. Several outside events, along with a tight supply and demand gap, have led to this market pushing itself out strongly.
There has been plenty of uncertainty and many complicated questions related to the overall lumber market health. Each week we do our best to provide you with information that can point you in the right direction so you can make the appropriate decisions for all your purchases in the near term.
Can Wood Take Over for Steel and Concrete in a Significant Way?
As the University of Toronto plans for a new wood construction academic building, the size of the structure will feed the imagination about how wood can overtake steel and concrete to become a more prominent choice in highrise construction. The plans are for a 14-storey facility that stands 80-metres high.
Nova Scotia Government Pushes All in for $10 Million Forestry Rebate Program
Over the next two years, those companies that invest in their own operations to establish new facilities, diversify their product lines or improve production efficiencies can benefit from the $10 million forestry sector rebate program promised by the province of Nova Scotia. This may open some doors to new opportunities within the sector.
The week finished off strong and we saw futures continue to move forward. There was a reversal on Monday as we saw futures pull back quite strongly. It felt like it was only a matter of time before we saw such a pause in market activity.
Mills are coming out with strong offer sheets and firm numbers again this week. Most of the material is fairly limited but at this point in time, consumers are adopting a cautious approach with the opportunity to buy below market has dissipated.
There seems to be some material still available in the hands of secondaries. There is a two-tiered market at the moment until that material pushes downstream.
There is not much to note about overall gaps in availability. Mills have offerings but the prices remain quite high. Mills do not seem open to counters at this point in time, with solid order files out a couple of weeks.
In 2x6, there is not too much volume out there, although those mills that do have more on their lists today are protecting that with heavy price increases. Of note, one of the larger producers has put out a list that is more robust than we have seen in quite some time. Along with that, prices are pushing higher than we have seen as well.
We are not seeing much change from last week with a firm and flat market overall. Longs are not readily available, which has remained that storyline throughout the year. Prices have pushed quite high on those.
As expected, mills coming out with availability this week are continuing to push numbers up. There is still not much volume so if you do need 2x10, you will be paying a premium over the price from a few weeks ago. The new levels have firmly been established and mills are content to wait if they don’t generate sales immediately.
The 2x12 market has played along with everything else with numbers firm and flat to go with decent availability. We are seeing a couple of mills showing offerings early this week. You can get covered off as the market remains flat.
The stud market has followed suit with the recent runup with a continuation from the week prior. Mills that are coming out with new availability are pushing their numbers higher.
2x4 104 pricing has jumped very high. Our feeling is that consumers will start pushing back. If you have a desperate need for 104s, you will pay this premium but the feeling is that consumers will sit back and wait as they look after their studs hand to mouth while prices sit at unpalatable levels for some.
With the price increases across all of white wood, those stores that loaded up for the spring season should be in a very good position to take advantage of their pricing. We expect that mills will likely look to push replacement on treated higher, as their input costs have clearly risen with this uptick in the market.
There has not been a huge change over the last week as MSR has followed suit along with #2&btr. We have seen a sharp increase in prices and a lack of availability, especially on 2x4 and 2x6 2100 over the past 2 to 3 weeks. If there is availability, mills are quite bullish on their pricing with very limited tallies. The mills are dictating the market at the moment.
There is not much downside risk on MSR pricing over the next 3 to 4 weeks. Mills order files are already out that far with no availability at times, depending on the item.
We are stocking inventories across North America whenever possible to service all LTL needs. Contact us for the most up to date pricing and availability.
Plywood took another jump up on print late last week. This was on the heels of solid takeaway across Super-Bs, railcars, and vans.
Western plywood producers are showing order files out to the end of March at this point.
It has been a slow start to open this week, which is not unexpected after the volume seen last week. We anticipate plywood to remain firm throughout March, along with the rest of the market. There still seems to be an appetite from consumers to step out on more volume. This will help to hold prices firm and we could see yet another slow price appreciation over the next couple of weeks with any added takeaway.
The OSB market remains in very good shape. Order files are out into the end of March and early April for production. We are seeing large players stepping in over the last couple of weeks to cover off immediate needs, but with order files approaching 12 weeks for delivery, buyers are having to go out longer to cover their needs and ensure they don’t get caught short.
We advise people to have a good look and be comfortable going out longer. Numbers in the short term continue to increase as order files keep pushing out.
A major producer in the West is coming on and off the market trying to temper the market from running away too fast.
In the meantime, we have well-priced contracts available for prompt shipment to cover any immediate needs.
We are in the market every day to understand and anticipate your business needs. We understand that a quality product goes beyond just wood, and will work diligently to provide you with innovative product and services solutions.
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