As Starts Slow, so Might Panel Prices
September 30, 2003
The usual fall/winter drop in housing starts might mark the end of the price increases that have taken plywood and oriented strand board from $267 per 1,000 square feet in May 2003 to $537 in September. Forest fires, hurricanes and an unexpected Iraq-bound order certainly have affected supply, but Jon Anderson, publisher of Random Lengths, says lower prices in 2001 and 2002 curtailed production, and then the record pace of housing starts this year quickly diminished supply. Although Random Lengths does not predict prices, Anderson doubts they will return to the lows of 2001-02.