Raw Materials

The volume of steel used to manufacture cold-formed steel (CFS) framing products ticked up 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest Nonresidential Market Volume Report released by the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA).

Interim Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen told Congress recently that the Forest Service expects its 2018 timber harvest will be the biggest in 20 years.

Lumber production rose 11.4% from February to 5,897.7 thousand cubic metres (2.5 billion board feet) of lumber in March. Production was 5.2% lower than in March 2017.

As lumber costs remain at historically high levels, lumber companies are investing those profits into strengthening their positions and increasing production capacity.  

In a recent presentation, Frank Turnbull of Mercer Timber Products discussed his company’s German imports to the US, tying the work of his company into a discussion of the opportunity for European lumber imports to compete in U.S. markets.

Now into the second quarter of 2018 and raw material costs continue to hold steady at their increases or are trending upward again. Add transportation to the mix and the ability to manufacturer and sell products is more than challenging.

LP Building Products has added manufacturing capabilities for its new LP Legacy® premium engineered sub-floor to its mill in Hanceville, AL to meet increasing demand for LP Legacy while expanding market availability and supply efficiencies into Texas and other regions west of the Mississippi.

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has published the findings from research conducted to support the development of a calculation methodology for determining the U-factors and R-values for wall assemblies containing cold-formed steel.

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