Random Lengths undertaking open industry consultation, review of price guides

Random Lengths is inviting feedback from the industry on pricing methodologies for Random Lengths and Random Lengths International as part of its annual methodology review process.

In addition to the open consultation, we are proposing several changes to the Random Lengths price guide. One such change is an overhaul of veneer reporting. Currently, Random Lengths assesses 14 veneer items each week. Initial industry feedback has suggested that reporting a smaller subset of those items would provide a more meaningful representation of market trends for industry participants. Random Lengths is proposing to report only Douglas Fir 1/8-inch CD 54s and 27s, along with random width and fishtails. This would eliminate all Douglas Fir 1/10-inch CD items, all White Woods 1/6-inch CD items, and Douglas Fir AB-grade. Random Lengths has received many requests in recent years to add dried veneer prices, and we continue to seek feedback on that suggestion.

The open consultation, for which we will take industry feedback through March 15, seeks to ensure that our methodologies continue to reflect the physical market, in compliance with the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) principles for price reporting agencies. This includes all elements of our pricing process, our price specifications, and publication frequency.

You can find the current methodology for Random Lengths and Random Lengths International here: https://www.fastmarkets.com/methodology/forest-products/.

As part of the open consultation, we are also asking the industry specifically about several other changes. A dearth of Fir&Larch and White Fir/Hem-Fir Std&Btr 2×4 production in recent years, in which few producers still pull a true Std&Btr grade, has led to calls to discontinue reporting of those two items. Random Lengths has gradually culled the reporting of Std&Btr grade from other species over the years as production has shifted to #2&Btr.

We are also asking the industry if Random Lengths should publish assessed prices for fingerjointed studs delivered into Texas. As the key end-use market for those items, delivered prices to that location would offer a glimpse of prices across producing regions, and shed light on the strength or weakness of that market. Random Lengths would continue reporting FOB mill prices for ES-LP, Fir&Larch, and Western S-P-F in all trims.

Lastly, European Spruce #2 2×4 continues to be a major factor across the North American softwood lumber market, impacting total available lumber supply and prices of species in all regions. Random Lengths is proposing launching a price — or suite of prices — geared toward adding transparency to this crucial market. We are seeking feedback on what items should be included and what specifications the market group should adhere to.

For feedback on the above or any other issue, please send responses in writing, preferably in electronic format, to the following address: joe.pruski@fastmarkets.com. Please add the respective subject heading Random Lengths, 2024. The deadline for submitting comments is March 15. Also, please specify whether your response is confidential. Input offered in confidence may be referenced but will not be attributed in any way.

Random Lengths will publish the outcome of the methodology review by April 8, including a summary of the feedback, with the exception of those marked as confidential. Any proposals to make material changes, discontinue, or launch prices will involve a separate market consultation, the length of which will depend on how substantial changes may be.

Any changes to the Random Lengths Lumber, Panel, Midweek, and International price guide will take effect at a later date.

For other Random Lengths pricing notices please see:

https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology/pricing-notices/

For more information on Random Lengths assessment methodology, please see:

http://www.fastmarkets.com/methodology/forest-products

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