FEA’S weekly order survey shows a slight uptick in sales activity

October 30, 2020

By: The Working Forest Staff

Dealers responding to FEA’s Weekly Order Survey noted a slight uptick in their Jobsite sales activity. As the calendar moves into November, builders, especially in the northern tier, are rushing to get job sites under roof and prepared for the onset of more winterlike weather.

Dealers in the Southern Plains and the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, are either already dealing with, or preparing for the one – two punch of the combined Winter Storm Billy and Hurricane Zeta. Dealers also noted that new home sales in September were not as strong as they were in August, but still remain well above September 2019 levels. OSB and Western Red Cedar products remain the only two commodities that have not been negatively impacted by the ongoing price correction.

However, over the course of the week, the price corrections in Southern Pine dimensional lumber, timber, and plywood, as well of some SPF products showed signs of slowing. The first indication of the market change started with producers rejecting significant counteroffers out of hand. Several traders are now saying that they believed that a trading level has been or is close to being found.

As a result, buyers who have been absent from the markets for the past 4 -6 weeks, are feeling a bit more comfortable with the current pricing structure and they ventured into the marketplace to at least purchase their near-term needs. While later in the week a handful of buyers felt confident enough to begin looking at late Q4 to early Q1 needs. Regrettably, transportation issues remain ongoing and late shipments persist.

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