26 Aug Freres Lumber August Market Update: Plywood Markets Unchanged from Previous Month
August 26, 2019
The plywood markets are largely unchanged. Prices on commodity products have continued to leak a few dollars each week. Unfortunately, that has been the trend for most of the spring and summer, so we continue to register many year lows on almost all commodity sheathing prices. As we’ve discussed in the past months, the imbalance in supply that imports have brought about (largely from South America) continues to plague and dilute our domestic markets.
Sales Volumes Buoyed by Fill-in Buying
Business in the field, while not crazy, is good right now. Most of our customers with large builder-based clients are currently very busy. They are moving decent amounts of products through their yards, while stocking only their needs. So, recently, fill-in buying by customers has been taking place at a more rapid clip than before. Our sales volumes have actually been better in the past several weeks than they have been all spring and summer.
Spot Buying Doesn’t Affect Plywood Markets
The problem is that customers, feeling no price pressure from the markets, continue to buy hand to mouth and will not build inventories. Just because they can. This will likely not change for a while, unless we have an event or events, that alter production. If that happens, we can certainly see some changes in the market – quickly. Mills have been holding the inventories all year and, until something changes, that will continue.