The commodity plywood markets have basically marched in place over the past few weeks, with minimal price adjustments. Recent sales have been mediocre, as customers continue to exhibit a great deal of caution in their buying.
Inventories remain lean across the industry. We’ve somewhat slipped back into a lethargic marketplace. However, buyers are focusing on needs-only purchases of commodity lumber and panels.
It’s a mixed bag in the field, too. Some locations maintain stability and brisk activity, while others remain quiet. Over recent weeks, we observed more sawmills announce temporary production curtailments due to market conditions. These cutbacks have yet to significantly impact the markets.
Buyers continue to approach their purchasing decisions with deliberation and discipline. And with little speculative activity from traders, markets seem to just plod forward.
As we approach the Memorial Day Weekend, industry insiders are curious to see if there will be any substantial buying activity during this traditionally pivotal period that marks the unofficial start of the building season.
The current market can be described as a “prove-it-to-me” environment, where buyers commit to paying prevailing rates only when they have an immediate need for a particular product. Encouragingly, builder confidence levels have shown a slight improvement, reaching their highest point in almost a year. We remain hopeful that this positive sentiment will persist.
In terms of specific wood products, OSB and SYP plywood are demonstrating stability, although without any remarkable performance to note. While the market may be somewhat lackluster at present, it is important to monitor any potential developments that could shape the engineered wood market in the future.
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