BEDFORD, MA , March 11, 2013 (Viewpoint) -
Anybody interacting with North American producers of lumber, plywood, OSB (oriented strand board) or MDF (medium density fiberboard) through much of 2012 and early 2013 has no doubt detected the return of euphoria to an industry which had long forgotten what euphoria meant! Over the past 15 months, FOB mill prices for a whole host of forest products have climbed, and in some cases even soared, to flirt with past peak levels (at least on a nominal or unadjusted-for-inflation basis).
Since the end of 2011, key commodity wood products prices have rocketed in some cases more than 100%. OSB prices have displayed the greatest strength with 7/16-inch OSB up 141% between the end of 2011 and the end of February 2013, from $185/MSF (thousand square feet) to $445/MSF, thus approaching the 2004 weekly all-time record of $526/MSF. Other wood products enjoyed substantial but more moderate increases over the same 14-month period. Plywood prices are up 41% while softwood lumber prices have jumped 54-64%, depending on species. Table 1 illustrates several softwood lumber and panel prices and how they have changed since the end of 2011 and also how close they have come to matching or, in the case of MDF, exceeding their previous cyclical peaks.
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This article originally appeared on woodbiomass.com: RISI VIEWPOINT: Euphoria returns to North American wood products markets in 2012!