Record lumber prices push lumber companies to new highs on TSX

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New record prices for lumber and wood panels are pushing up the stock prices of Canadian producers.West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Interfor Corp., Canfor Corp., CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. and Norbord Inc. all set new 52-week stock prices on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning.

Analysts citing industry observer Random Lengths report that prices for Western SPF (Spruce-Pine-Fir) lumber rose 5.9 percent or between last Friday and Tuesday to reach a new record US $ 805 per thousand board feet.

A CIBC report notes that the price is 23% higher than the previous peak nominal price of $ 655 in early June 2018 and surpasses the all-time high in November 1996 of $ 480 or $ 775 in today’s dollars, after adjustment for inflation.

Meanwhile, oriented strand board – a type of wood board used in construction – rose $ 15 to between $ 605 and $ 620 per thousand square feet over the same four days.

All time high

RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn said in a report he was increasing the target prices of nine logging companies he covers, with the biggest jumps from $ 8 a share to $ 85 for West Fraser and $ 7 per share to $ 57 per share for Norbord.

It also increased its estimates of average lumber and OSB prices for 2020.

“While we recognize that current prices are in part attributable to tight inventory levels throughout the supply chain, we expect record demand for repairs and renovations, the rebound in new residential construction activity. and the supply challenges associated with COVID-19 will be enough to keep wood product prices still historically high over the next several months, ”Quinn said.

“We still see some advantage in our estimates for 2021 if the growing demand for new residential construction is enough to offset the seasonal slowdown in repair and renovation activity. “

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