Raw Materials

It’s clear that U.S. trade relationships are critical to component manufacturers (CMs) as the CM industry relies almost exclusively on two commodities, lumber and steel. Unfortunately, domestic markets for both of these raw materials are heavily influenced by a relatively small number of foreign countries.

FEA Canada/WOOD MARKETS’ 2017 annual survey of “top 20” Canadian and U.S. lumber producers featured mixed production trends despite a runaway lumber market in the U.S. With few mill acquisitions, almost all of the production gains arose from improvements at existing mills

By choosing cold-formed steel (CFS) for the project, Augustine tapped into both the versatility and durability that are unique qualities of the product, which enabled them to maximize its use for 34,000 linear feet of non-load bearing (nonstructural) CFS walls and 38,000 linear feet of prefabricated load-bearing (structural) CFS walls

Tuscaloosa's Westervelt Co. says it is completing plans for a new lumber facility in south Alabama which is expected to employ about 100 people.

The World Trade Organization says its dispute settlement body has agreed to establish two panels to examine Canada's complaint about duties imposed by the United States on softwood lumber imports.

Softwood lumber exports from British Columbia to the United States plunged 20 per cent in March from a year ago, the federal government said, amid railway transportation problems.

Building material costs continues to increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent Producer Price Index report, and many are looking at ongoing trade disputes as a big part of the problem. 

Just over a month after the Trump Administration announced it was going to place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, we are beginning to see bilateral agreements and renegotiated trade deals taking place.

Lumber costs are often thought to be controlled by simple supply and demand.  We’ve recently published several articles addressing the supply side of this equation, but what about demand? 

Steel has an obvious advantage in that its core ingredients are fire resistant. So, that begs the question that shouldn’t more steel structures be speced and built?