Price of lumber higher on storm's devastation

Associated Press Modified: October 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm •  Published: October 31, 2012
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The price of lumber rose 3.2 percent Wednesday as residents of the Northeast evaluated the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Lumber for January delivery increased $10 to end at $331.20 per 1,000 board feet on expectations that demand will pick up because of the need to repair or rebuild houses and other structures. The process could take months.

"There may be some emotion in (the) futures market resulting from damage from Hurricane Sandy, emphasis on emotional," said Jon Anderson, president of Random Lengths, which tracks cash prices, other market data and issues in the lumber industry. "Any immediate effect on actual consumption is minimal."

Cash prices in the lumber market have increased as the housing market has shown signs of recovery, he said. There has been some tightness in supply. That's typical for this time of year in part because construction slows during the winter.

In other trading, platinum and palladium prices posted gains after General Motors said it sold about 70,000 more vehicles worldwide in the third quarter than it did a year ago. The two metals are used in automobile catalytic converters.

Platinum for January delivery gained $23.40 to finish at $1,577 per ounce and December palladium increased $13.65 to $609.80 per ounce.

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