Market Update - Some Traction

  Courtesy flickr user msladyflash

Courtesy flickr user msladyflash

After weeks of drifting sideways, Western S-P-F 2x4 #2 finally caught some traction last week as buyers returned to the market. A rally in futures midweek was the catalyst after a settlement to the fiscal stalemate was reached. By Friday the pace had picked up steam as mills were able to extend their order files into mid November with ease. Sales of S-P-F studs also perked up midweek as mills firmed up prices on steady demand. Southern Pine dimension prices weakened as sales slowed to a crawl across much of the south. Prices remain a value compared to other species. The OSB market continued its sideways path last week as mills held prices but extended order files.  

Overall, prices of commodities have traded in a very narrow range over the last few months. Two things to note, one is that demand is still strong in the field. Everyone we talk to is busy. Secondly, inventories are thin at the wholesale level which means that there is buy coming soon. If the pace of business continues, we will probably see higher prices in the coming weeks. If the market stalls due to weather or some other reason then we will continue to drift sideways.