Commodity Price Index that prices for OSB, which has replaced plywood in most North American housing applications, surged in February to $430 US a thousand square feet, up 100 per cent year-over-year.
The recovering U.S. housing market has pushed profit margins up to stratospheric heights for oriented strand board OSB producers, whose engineered wood panels are outperforming lumber in the red-hot forest products sector.
Profit margins are now averaging 54 per cent above the cost of production, according to Scotiabank. Scotiabank commodities analyst Patricia Mohr cited the recovering U.S. housing market as the driver for OSB prices.
As of February, new housing starts increased to 917,000 annualized, she said, up from 718,000 a year earlier. Both home sales and home prices are climbing as well, she said.