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Unprecedented Lumber Market Demand Continues into Autumn

2020 has created unique circumstances for various commodity industries. The lumber market has experienced an unprecedented boom that looks, for now at least, to be continuing into autumn. In our last blog on this topic, we discussed the reasons for this unprecedented lumber demand, including low mortgage rates, service-industry businesses adjusting to outdoor seating requirements, and homeowners turning their attention to remodeling and decking projects, among others. Today, we’ll take a look at some hard numbers that highlight how unique the situation in the lumber market currently is.

Lumber Trends as They Currently Stand

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge as a global challenge, the lumber industry expected a huge downturn in demand as lockdown restrictions came into place and businesses waited to learn whether local governments would consider their operations essential. This uncertainty was reflected in the price of lumber, hitting an annual low of $264 per board foot on March 30th of this year. However, as demand exploded rapidly, the price followed suit. It peaked at $948 on September 7th, an increase of 153.48% over the previous year. This staggering trend has been unprecedented within the industry. Since its peak, prices have trended downward. However, even with this downward trend, prices for lumber are still far outpacing the averages for years past. Most recently, the price was $607.60 on September 21st, an increase of 62% over the previous year. Using the chart below courtesy of Davis Hawn, we can see how these trends break down for individual lumber products.

How Long Will the Trend Continue?

Some experts predict that prices will continue to fall as autumn approaches, a typical trend for what is often a seasonal market. However, the degree to which remains to be seen. Even if the prices continue to fall, they will still likely eclipse the monthly averages from last year. The direction of this trend may largely be dependant on whether building companies continue their demand for lumber products or if they too slow down as the weather changes and the uncharted effects of the global pandemic begin to balance out. In the meantime, lumber market prices are still far outpacing predicted prices, and while the trend is slowing, we will still have to wait and see to what degree.

Get the Lumber Products You Need for Your Next Project

Despite the unprecedented times, the team at National Lumber has made it our goal to deliver the lumber products and other building materials you need to you on-time. If you’re ready to get started on your next project, request a quote today.