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Eli Goldfinger
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2016
23545 posts
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The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
1. 90% of the wood used to build US houses comes from Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

2. Canadian timber harvest is controlled by the government. Annual Allowable Cut (AAC)

3. A few years ago, the Canadian gov opened up a lot of woodlands for harvest due to pine beetles. They wanted to get the wood while it was still useable and avoid the fire risk.
This created a glut of lumber. Some stores still have this blue stained lumber.
So even though demand was up, so was supply...prices remained flat.

4. The only lumber brokers to survive The Great Recession were those who were inherently conservative. These are the ones who hold cash reserves and avoid too much supply.

5. In 2016, the Canadian government reduced the AAC. This devastated the Canadian timber industry and many mills shut down by 2019.

6. It takes 50-70 years for a Canadian tree to be ready for harvest.

7. Pine from the southern US is good for pulp products but not so great for building. It tends to be wet, heavy, prone to twist, and causes a lot of worksite waste.

We’re seeing a perfect storm of low supply of raw lumber, much fewer mills to produce the cut lumber, conservative brokers who don’t buy stocks (futures) to last beyond 30-60 days, slow regeneration of the trees, and a much increased demand due to a housing shortage based on the low density housing standard we enjoy in the US.

Typically, high prices fixes high prices...but this hasn’t been the case. This is leading many to believe timber has long been underpriced. This is a direct result of the Canadian pine beetle glut.

The supply side won’t be corrected anytime soon, because the cut isn’t available. When supply eventually does catch up, prices will NEVER go back down to 2019 levels.

In the meantime, builders are shifting to OSB alternatives such as foam board and metal trusses, and existing home prices are climbing into the stratosphere.
This post was edited on 5/3 at 3:14 pm


cajunangelle
LSU Fan
eating a fried oyster/shrimp poboy
Member since Oct 2012
120443 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
so the Canadian rumor is true...

why do our trees suck and Canada's don't?


Eli Goldfinger
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2016
23545 posts
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re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Grain density.


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131
salty1
US Marine Corps Fan
Member since Jun 2015
2091 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Thank you for the information. That being said, can you point to something that supports your statements? This is first time I've heard that Canada's supply (or lack thereof) is the cause of the ridiculous prices we're seeing.


Eli Goldfinger
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2016
23545 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing


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20
AlwysATgr
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Apr 2008
11448 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
quote:

Pine from the southern US is good for pulp products but not so great for building. It tends to be wet, heavy, prone to twist, and causes a lot of worksite waste


Loblolly? Long leaf? Slash? All the aforementioned?


jbgleason
LSU Fan
BTR, suck it all you haters
Member since Mar 2012
15586 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
quote:

metal trusses


Was always interested in doing a metal framed house.


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60
Eli Goldfinger
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2016
23545 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Spruce is simply a better building product.


Dawgfanman
Georgia Fan
Member since Jun 2015
13047 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
How will this impact the housing market in the medium (5 years) and long term (10+)? Even with the impending end to moritoroums on foreclosures and evictions, will this keep prices and demand sky high?


Topisawtiger
Air Force Fan
Mississippi
Member since Oct 2012
2799 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
We built our house 20 years ago. We cut the trees off of our land, had a guy bring in a portable band saw to cut the trees into boards and then we air dried them for about 5 months. Lumber was great to work with, easy to nail into, didn't splinter. Our trees were southern long leaf pines and some old nasty field pines. It is the quick drying in the kiln that causes the issues.

Word of advice: it shrinks very little so cut your lumber true. I cut ours to 2x4, 2x6, etc instead of 1 1/2x3 1/2". Causes problems when insertsing doors, windows, etc.


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110
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Marquesa
LSU Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2020
166 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Saw a neighborhood going up being framed with aluminum. Is wood so high that aluminum is now competitive?


Bass Tiger
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2014
25960 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
I’m more concerned about my favorite Chinese restaurant jacking prices 20% this past week. If someone tells you inflation isn’t a problem they’re not paying the bills.


tarzana
LSU Fan
TX Hwy 6, 74 miles SE of Kyle Field
Member since Sep 2015
16269 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Bald cypress is excellent timber, but the recovery price is just prohibitive


MAEFIELD
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2018
176 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
In an odd twist of diverging markets, the southern tree farmer is seeing none of this boom market...indeed, it has been very frustrating as a tree farmer to watch lumber prices soar and price for saw logs (pines or hardwoods) remain constant.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/K3j105c.png


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60
Eli Goldfinger
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2016
23545 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
quote:

Is wood so high that aluminum is now competitive?


Yes

And some things just aren’t in supply (OSB).


Northshoretiger87
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Apr 2016
1301 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Trying to get some pines down in my yard. Do you think a tree company would come out for free on my end given the price of lumbar?


Eli Goldfinger
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2016
23545 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
For some pines?
Probably not.


Bass Tiger
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2014
25960 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
They’re cutting a shite load of hardwood in MO right now. A lot of Oak, walnut, hickory and sycamore.


20 ton
LSU Fan
BR
Member since Aug 2013
482 posts
 Online 

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Bush’s free trade agreement destroyed the southern timber industry. Mills shut down and take time to replace. Hopefully some will come back because I have 60 acres of pines to help with my retirement.


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111
LookSquirrel
LSU Fan
Ponchatoula
Member since Oct 2019
2279 posts

re: The real reason(s) lumber prices are up and climbing
Luckily for me, my house is built from the ancient cypress trees, (over 500 years old), that used to be around here. Built in 1918 for the guy that took care of the mules and sharpened the blades for the mill. They must have liked him because it is square all around with rough cut tongue and groove floors, walls, ceiling and roof.
Always said I could tear it down and make a fortune on just the timber alone. Maybe the time is right, now.


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