FEA’s Weekly Orders Survey – Dealers Continue to Report Robust Jobsite Activity

Dealers continue to report strong sales to their contractor customers jobsites but noted that deliveries for Friday were a bit on the light side. However, Monday’s delivery schedules is already almost completely booked and the rest of the week looks to be equally as busy. The National Association of Relators® Pending Homes Sales Index and the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Pricing Index gave dealers additional encouraging news about the overall strength of the housing markets. Dealers are reporting that mills are quoting production scheduled for the last 2-weeks of July and the first 2-weeks of August. Late shipments due to production issues and now an acute shortage of trucks and rail service are further adding to those delays. Local 2-step distributors are also reporting that their inventories are not as robust as they would like, due to the same production and transportation issues. Mortgage rates continue at near record low levels and that continues to draw home buyers into the market.

Dealers are reporting another week of steady to strong sales. Some dealers are anticipating that their sales might be a bit slower next week, as builders take a few days off to celebrate the 4th of July holiday, which this year falls on a Saturday. Others dealers are expecting it to be business as usual, as builders try to make up for earlier COVID-19 lost time. May’s existing home sales were a bit disappointing. However, dealers noted that new homes sales in May were higher than April’s and higher than May of 2019 levels. Dealers are reporting mills are quoting production for the late July and early to mid-August and prices continue to move higher on both lumber and panels. Dealers noted that both mills and pressure treaters are shipping behind schedule. With some orders currently 3 – 5, to as much as, 8 – 9  weeks late. A lack of available trucks, in various shipping lanes, is now slowing shipments down even further. Dealers are reporting a dearth of on ground inventory available at the producers. Buyers turning to local 2-step distributors and office wholesalers for fill-ins to cover near-term needs are reporting that due to late shipments, the secondaries inventory levels are lite and are missing several of the key items. Mortgage rates continue to hold at near record low levels, which is helping to keep new and existing home sales on the upswing.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.