The slow start to the building season has had a downward pull on plywood and OSB prices. As of the last week in March, the OSB price was the lowest it has been since May 2012. Buyers seem to be waiting for the bottom of the barrell price, but if things turn around it may be too late to get that rock-bottom buy. Everyone seems to be optomistic that this should be a great building season, but for us the signs point to a slightly less blockbuster summer and national housing starts are behind predictions for 2014.
Other lumber prices are still weak as well, and as retailers and wholesalers sit back and wait, they may run into trucking problems once they decide to buy. Shipments are still often sitting for a couple of weeks waiting for a truck to get under them, and once the season starts to boom, logistics will become a larger problem.
It is being suggested that retailers stock a minimum 30 day supply of treated lumber to accomodate slow shipping. Apparently, gone are the days when we ordered a load one morning and pulled into the store the next morning to find the truck waiting in our parking lot to be unloaded.
Other market updates include a price increase announced by many asphalt roofing manufacturers in late April thru May of anywhere from 5-8%. Likewise, metal studs are scheduled for two-5% price increases between now and mid-summer and Dow extruded styrofoam panels are scheduled for a 6% increase later this month. After a couple of price increases last year, USG has announced that their February price increase for ceiling grid systems has been postponed until further notice.
Another issue that our management team is currently working on is finding a new source for blocks. Recently our supplier for several years closed it’s doors. While this section of our business is not huge; we have tried to keep a variety of blocks, bricks and masonry products in-stock, at competitive prices, to help our local contractors and DIY’ers complete every project without running all over to find what they need. Over the last week our managers have spoken with a couple of potential vendors and are crunching the numbers to make sure we stay competitive in the masonry department this building season.
Stay tuned for more market and pricing updates The rumor mill is churning about a possible drainage pipe price increase and even a possible Quikrete increase, we will pass along the information as we hear it!