Lumber Market Update-May | Shepley Wood Products
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Lumber Market Update-May

Across the nation, sales fell short of expectations for April but the overall retail outtake was sufficient enough to keep the stream of materials moving relatively well and prices firm, but not at levels that have pleased the mills. Desperate to stimulate additional sales, traders have been putting out the warning to “buy now” while the “deal” is still on the table but oftentimes those same deals reappeared the next day and with a little better pricing. Buyers didn’t pay much heed as the vast majority of these offers were for prompt shipment, a clear sign that there was plenty of inventory in the supply channel. In the end, the best advice was to “buy it if you need it” and that seems to be the strategy that most buyers followed as supply has been easily satisfying demand. Although there has been a prevailingly somber outlook for business for the second half of this year (as Americans deal with concerning economic headwinds), there has been positive news from the first quarter as some key statistics (such as housing permits, starts, new and existing home sales) performed better than anticipated, instilling a renewed sense of optimism for the industry. With the onset of warmer weather, activity is ramping up and there is confidence from the field that business will be good for at least the next 45-60 days. Dealers appear to have built solid inventories in preparation for their current needs, but if there is a unified need for replenishment that may put a sudden demand on supply, prices will undoubtedly and quickly reflect the impact. As of print, we anticipate that prices will be firm to up for May, especially if buyers need to go back to the well sooner than anticipated.

With the onset of warmer weather, activity is ramping up and there is confidence from the field that business will be good for at least the next 45-60 days.

We are very excited to announce that we have taken on a comprehensive and high-performing rigid insulation line called “Halo”. Competitively priced, Halo is a low carbon graphite-infused polystyrene (GPS) insulation that features a variety of laminated surfaces that not only enhances its performance to the specific application, but also helps to make it a more durable product. Why graphite? The inclusion of millions of graphite infrared absorbers and heat reflectors reduces thermal conductivity, making it an ideal insulation to help achieve the exterior building envelope insulation requirements for the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC). As continuous insulation has become a very effective way to eliminate thermal bridging (which occurs when heat is able to escape through the uninsulated components of an exterior wall), the use of an insulation such as Halo is a great solution in making a home more energy efficient.

Halo offers three products for three types of applications: “Exterra” for exterior use, “Subterra” for below-ground applications and “Interra” for interior use. All three feature a long-term R-5 insulation value (per nominal inch) that won’t deteriorate with time (unlike ISO or XPS insulations) and has been proven to perform better in colder climates. In terms of durability, Halo is uncommonly durable and flexible (so much so that some sheets can be folded in on themselves). Exterra features a perforated reflective exterior laminate (that is also a water-resistive barrier) along with a perforated clear interior laminate. In conjunction with its breathable core, air and moisture can escape the wall assembly so you can forgo the expense and time of applying a house wrap. Subterra is designed for below-ground applications, boasting a 25 psi compressive strength and has a very durable, job-site tough exterior polypropylene laminate that helps to drain water away from the foundation wall. For additional durability and protection against radon, Halo also offers Subterra Plus, which features a cross-woven laminate and possesses a radon resistance seven times greater than 6 mil polyethylene membranes. Last (but certainly not least) is Interra, which is specifically designed for interior applications. Interra has a built in reflective vapor barrier that can reflect heat back in to the home and eliminates the need for poly. We have decided to carry Halo GPS Exterra, Subterra and Interra in 1” and 2” 4x8 sizes and inventory is now on hand, ready for sale. Please be sure to ask your Shepley salesperson for any additional information you may need about this exciting product, or visit their website at Thank you for your business!