25 Mar Freres Lumber March Market Update: A Lackluster Western Plywood Market
March 25, 2019
The western plywood market has been steadier but unspectacular in the past few weeks. Some prices have firmed slightly. Others have been static. Western markets have noticeably brightened, as recent dryer, warmer weather has stimulated shipping in many, but not all areas. Inventories are lean, intentionally, but buyers continue to exercise caution – to the point of scrambling for quick loads when they see pavement in their yards. No surprise.
Everyone is trying to discern how much spring business is really out there. They want to see it before they commit more resources to additional inventory. Commodity lumber and panel prices are still in the low end of recent price ranges – making for low risk buying. Some people are more sure of their spring business ahead. Others, not as much. Severe weather conditions in many areas of the country during February are still having a large impact on shipping. The south and Midwest are still reeling from wet winters – with some areas just starting to dry out. So, not all markets have product flowing smoothly. That has to improve before we are able to give the markets any kind of punch. Conditions are favorable for some upward movement in commodity lumber and panels, but if and when? We’ll have to wait and see.