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Wisconsin Building Supply is a destination for industry insight and a marketplace for valuable products at discounted prices.

Please remember, item availability is not guaranteed. All sales are final. Upon request, purchased items can be transferred to the WBS location nearest you. For additional information on any of the items listed, please contact the WBS location carrying the item/s.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lumber Prices Ratchet Higher Despite Moderate Sales Pace

May 2010--Lumber prices have ratcheted higher, although the sales pace has moderated at the mill level. The result was another solid week of sales that pushed order files on many items well into May. If there is a silver lining in this news, it is that the composite index has risen to a level that-should prices hold or rise-will allow the export tax on Canadian shipments to the US to drop to zero in June. This could mean a slowdown on price increases within these categories. However, please note that reports that some mills were loosening and a smattering of mills were planning or preparing for a comeback had little immediate impact on prices.
Panels are a bit of a different story, prices are within range of all-time highs and many of the mills have pulled themselves off the market and product scarcity is beginning to show itself in many parts of the country. This, combined with a trucking shortage in the south that shows no signs of abating, has led to sustained increases within the market. This is a situation we continue to monitor daily. Current inventory levels are good, but please work with your sales team on any extended pricing or projects that may be more than 30 days out from starting.

This is an interesting time within the market. Normally we would expect to see a give back or softening within the market. That has not happened. Credit constraints are not allowing suppliers to take as aggressive a position in certain categories as they have in the past. This inability to build inventories has forced buyers throughout the industry to make smaller and more frequent buys, which has fed a steady flow of inquiries back to the mills, which helps support prices.

In honor of Earth Day (April 22) here are three myths that can help people make more Earth-friendly choices:
· Put food waste in the trash not down the garbage disposal... Reality is the effect is about the same. The real green approach is to compost food waste.
· Keep the thermostat at a constant temperature, instead of moving it up with a programmable thermostat... Reality is that a furnace or air conditioner will run longer to reach a desired setting from a programmable thermostat, but it will use less energy overall than trying to maintain a constant temperature.
· Leave fluorescent lights on because it takes so much energy to turn them on... Reality is that turning on a fluorescent light does take more energy, but only for a fraction of a second. The savings from using the efficient light makes up for the start-up cost. Even though turning fluorescent lights on and off will reduce their life, you will still come out ahead by shutting them off.

If you have a topic, question or idea that you would like to see addressed please let me know and I will work it into a future update.  Good Building.