Approaching New Records - Lumber Market Update
The framing lumber market kicked in to high gear late last week, after the futures market went up on Thursday. Western SPF 2x4 #2 hit $400 f.o.b. mill price, for the first time since 2004. Western SPF studs were the most active items last week, as order files were extended into April and prices reflected double digit gains. 2x12 Southern Pine sales continued to be robust as shortages were reported in most regions. All other items remained strong.
The panel market was quiet most of the week, as mills rested on their orders files that stretch well into April. Many feel that once spring arrives, OSB prices could hit record levels. The mills sense there are still many buyers sitting on the sidelines waiting for lower prices to cover upcoming jobs. That has been the case for some time now.
Overall, the weather has played a part in slowing the market down. At some point in the coming weeks spring will arrive and so will the need to purchase. This is a supply driven market and until that changes, prices will continue to rise.