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RISI VIEWPOINT: Seasonal factors mask the strength in fourth quarter 2013 OSB production



BEDFORD, MA , April 4, 2014 (Viewpoint) - 

There is very limited data available on the structural panel market. The only hard data besides trade data reported by customs are production data reported by the APA. This makes the release date of the association's quarterly production report one worth circling on the calendar in bold red pen. As one of the only hard data points available, many inferences are made from these data. As such, it is important to understand the typical behavior of OSB production throughout the year before coming to any conclusions regarding implications for the market. This article specifically focuses on the seasonality associated with US OSB production.

Seasonality in OSB production is statistically significant. Production is typically strongest in the second and third quarters, flat in the first quarter and down in the fourth quarter. The average quarter-over-quarter percent change from 2000 to 2013 is 1.4% in the first quarter, 7.5% in the second, 1.5% in the third and -8.0 % in the fourth (Figure 1). While the raw production data showed flat quarter-over-quarter production levels from the third to the fourth quarter of 2013, production has declined 8% on average since 2000 in the fourth quarter indicating that the latest reported quarterly production figure was stronger than it initially appears. In fact, on a seasonally adjusted basis production was up 7% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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This article originally appeared on woodbiomass.com: RISI VIEWPOINT: Seasonal factors mask the strength in fourth quarter 2013 OSB production