December 26, 2017
Positive Plywood Market Delivers a Good Holiday Season to the Mills
In the past two weeks, the plywood market has gradually found better traction, and has enabled mills to firm numbers up a bit on most items, going into the Christmas week. In the week before Christmas, plywood markets remained active as buyers cleaned up their “to-buy” lists before the long Christmas weekend. Sales were brisk at times, but no one was loading up. They were only covering expected needs. The net result was a good amount of business being booked into the first two weeks of January for most mills, with price gains of $10-15/m. This move represented the first uptick on printed prices in over two months. That it came mostly in the ten days before Christmas is a little surprising. The recent moves in the marketplace reflect the generally low inventories in yards and DC’s, as well as the pace of business into the field right to the end of the year. Those are encouraging indicators for the mills of the market going into 2018, for sure.
Pine plywood had similar activity and mills are generally into the first and second week of January. Canadian plywood markets had two back-to-back strong sales weeks before Christmas, tacking on four-points each week. That is a considerable turnaround from the October/November markets, when commodity plywood tumbled across the region. Now, with many mills quoting wood into late January or early February, buyers with uncovered January needs will need to scour the local distribution and wholesale inventories for quicker shipping wood.
All in all, a very positive ten days before Christmas. Perhaps a preview of January business to come. Weather, as always, will be the wild card. If its moderate after the first of the year, the markets will probably continue to move up. If harsh winter weather hits major areas, then that will certainly affect shipments, and the market.
A good way to finish the year up, really. We at Freres Lumber Company anticipate a solid 2018 ahead!