APRIL 2023 BUILDING MATERIAL MARKET REFLECTION
Despite mills and buyers hopes for a significant spring buy in, the tone of the market in April was somber. It feels like supply and demand are in balance and unless we see a significant change on either side, we will continue in this narrow trading range.
New Residential Construction Press Release (census.gov)
Lumber saw little movement price wise month over month with 2×4 and 2×6 showing little change, Wides 2×8, 2×10 were a little softer with an 11%-13% decrease. 2×4-92 5/8” stud posted a 10% gain for the month, while other trims remained flat.
OSB found some traction spiking up 20% as a significant block of product was taken off the market by a large U.S. retailer. This took mill order files out into June shipment and the majority of Western mills have pulled off the market to reevaluate their positions. With very little wood available on the cash market, expect prices to continue to rise and supply to be tight.
Plywood also posted gains for the month up 4% as mills were able to take order files into end of May shipment.
New orders into truss were down for but the pipeline for May and June looks to be ramping up. EWP supply continues to be very good,
Other building materials and finish products supply remains good. A couple items, exterior drywall and fire code drywall are still challenging but seem to be slowly getting better. We continue to see price decreases filtering on a few items.
Looking Through the Crystal Ball
While the spring buy everyone was expecting hasn’t yet materialized, there are strong signals that the second quarter is showing some pent-up demand. With OSB and Plywood starting to move many are expecting lumber to follow. Mills have dug their heels in on pricing hoping for the same thing. If lumber does follow panels on a run, many buyers could get caught as everyone has grown comfortable with just in time shipments.