In a major development, the price of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), a substitute of plywood that was once- cheap has registered a staggering high of 97% since the beginning of 2021. A report by SURFACES REPORTER (SR).
Majorly used as sheathing for walls, floors and roofs in new-home construction, the rising cost of OSBs has threatened to elevate the already high home building cost in North America even as the lumber market shows the signs of reduction in prices, according to the media reports.
One of the major reasons cited for the high price is the reduction in the supply of the resin due to a winter storm in Texas that is crucial for manufacturing the product.
In the surrounding regions, wood industry benefitted from the pandemic the most as most people built and renovated their homes. While there was a boom in the newer construction and renovations, the material industry was slower to catch up leading to an epic 400% hike in the lumber prices that continued for 12 months. Now when they are finally cooling off, the OSBs have started to take off keeping the home construction prices high.
In Western Canada, OSB that is 7/16th of an inch thick is at $1,700 per 1,000 square feet this week, matching last week’s all-time high. That’s up from $1,660 four weeks ago and the $240 the product fetched a year ago.
In the Southeast U.S., mills are selling the same type of OSB at a record $1,160 per 1,000 square feet, a level first reached last week. That’s up from $1,115 a month ago and a four-fold increase from $288 a year prior.
What is OSB?
A type of engineered wood, Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands (flakes) in specific orientations. Having an uneven surface, OSB is produced in varied types and thickness.
The popularity of OSB is attributed to it being the closest alternative of Plywood yet having many more favourable mechanical properties particularly its load bearing capacity that makes it better suitable in construction. Used for sheathing in walls, flooring, and roof decking. It is also used in exterior applications where the panels have a radiant-barrier layer laminated to one side for ease of installation and enhanced energy performance of the building envelop.
As compared to plywood, the cost of OSB is far lesser than the Plywood that is leading to its gaining popularity. In India, the starting price of OSBs are Rs 25/ sq ft and more depending upon the quality and thickness of the sheet.
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