From BUILDER sibling ProSales:

Wholesale prices for softwood lumber dropped 9.6% in August from the month before and plywood costs shrank 3.4%, but the cost of millwork remained unchanged, the Labor Department reported today in its latest Producer Price Index report.

Meanwhile, the wholesale cost of asphalt felts and coatings slipped 1.1% and bolts, screws, and nuts cost 0.5% less on the wholesale market, while cement prices rose 0.1%.

July's declines were common among all goods used to create finished products. The overall Producer Price Index declined by 0.1%, the first such drop since February 2017. But MarketWatch noted the decline was tied to lower margins for services such as retail and transportation, a volatile category of limited use in predicting the pattern of inflation.

Even with July's decline, the wholesale cost of wood products is up markedly compared with the 2.8% increase for all wholesale goods since August 2017. Softwood lumber prices were 5.0% higher, millwork cost 5.8% more, and plywood was a whopping 16.2% more expensive, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, bolts, screws, and nuts cost only 0.6% more than a year ago, asphalt felts and cements were 0.1% cheaper, and cement cost 0.4% less.

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