March 2018 Lumber Market Update – The Platinum Tape, A Blog by CEO Kelly Fox

Friends and Neighbors,

Over the last few weeks, the massive turmoil in the lumber commodity markets has slowed down with pricing stabilizing even if the supply issues have not.  Taking the place of the lumber in the pricing volatility is steel and metal goods.  The cause of this issue is the import tariffs and anti-dumping duties on steel goods from overseas.  While it is still a bit early to tell exactly how far the tariffs will go, we do know that many suppliers from rebar to roof metal are increasing their cost to us right away.

In the last week, we have seen announcements from one roofing supplier who is raising prices by 10% based on covering their replacement inventory costs.  Most of the rebar we sell is produced in North America, but the consensus is that the price has been artificially low for quite a while to compete with import lines.  The price of rebar is expected to jump accordingly.  Fasteners and structural steel hangers will follow the same pattern.

To make sure we protect our customers, we have taken similar actions to those we took before the wood prices skyrocketed.  We have purchased adequate supply of everyday fasteners and rebar to make sure that we have supply and that we have it at a fair price.  When the time comes for us to replace our volume purchases at our normal stock levels, we will be adjusting our pricing accordingly to cover our replacement cost.

As a final note on all of the market volatility, we are working closely with our suppliers to be as transparent as possible about pricing issues and the reasoning behind the increases.  We are also working with them to make sure that we set our retail pricing correctly given the competition and perception of value in the market.  Twice this year, we have substantially lowered our retail pricing on full lines, structural steel and paint, to make sure that we are doing our part to meet your expectations.  We will continue to look for ways to help save and we thank you for your trust in these crazy times.

If you ever want an opinion on where things are heading or why, please reach out to me via email or at the stores by calling 360.452.8933.  You can also follow this blog and our social media platforms to stay current on what is happening in the world of building materials.

Best Regards,