Lumber Prices

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,820
Northern NH
One of many marketing techniques used by online sellers is"surge" pricing. Its easy to program in an algorithm to raise the price when the demand goes up. Uber gets pounded on it frequently. Some call it automated gouging but its supply and demand. Same with wood, not enough supply to meet the demand. Those who want the limited supply the most pay more while the one with less need wait. When I go the farmers market and they have the first fresh strawberries of the season I know the seller with the earliest ones will charge more for the few baskets he has, I know if I wait a week or two more sellers will have them and the price will drop.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,412
South Puget Sound, WA
Funny thing. I drive by a large mill in Darrington, WA a few times a year. When I drove by it a couple months ago, there were acres of milled wood there. To see it one would ask, what shortage? I'll be going by again tomorrow and will try to remember to take a picture.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Retail prices still going up. .Today 2x4x8s were $12.50 each . 3 times the normal price. 12 footers were $19 @. Had to pay as the job has to get done.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,313
Salisbury, MD
Retail prices still going up. .Today 2x4x8s were $12.50 each . 3 times the normal price. 12 footers were $19 @. Had to pay as the job has to get done.

What gets me is if they still have the tag on the pallet the date is from early 2020 so they have stock piled quite a bit and just raising the price to make more.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,738
SE North Carolina
I think it is more a case of supply chain disruption and recovery. There has been a surge in demand now but things are adjusting. The report today was the wholesale lumber prices are dropping.
So you are saying I’m not gonna be able to send a kid to one semester of college with this stack I just cut today;)
Futures markets only make the middle men money. Suppliers and consumers are just left at their mercy.
 

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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,446
Downeast Maine
The price dropped below $900/mbf yesterday at the market close, which is encouraging.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,446
Downeast Maine
The question is how long does that take to trickle down, the prices shoot up quick, but much slower coming back down.
I don't think we will ever see $300/mbf again, but less than $900 is much better than $1400/mbf.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
974
Northwest Lower Michigan
It will come down until the masses decide “hey lumber is affordable again” and supply goes out again, prices go back up. Will take a few iterations of this I think.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,820
Northern NH
I thinks folks are assuming markets are rational, they are not. All the producers wo have committed to cranking up new mills are going to be rushing product into the market to catch the crest, it usually leads to a glut and then they need to sell it for what ever they can get to cover their new fixed costs. Last thing I knew there was a shortage of truckers and that can lead to mill yards full of product.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,412
South Puget Sound, WA
Drove by the Hampton mill in Darrington on Sunday. It looked pretty normal. The yards were half-full of finished product and had lots of logs waiting for milling.
 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,744
Eastern Long Island, NY
I was at Lowes yesterday, buying a few bags of pellets, and I decided to check out the sheathing prices.

And the sheathing prices seem to be back to what they were before the price spike caused by covid. $35 for a sheet of plywood 23/32, about the same price I remember way back in the normal days.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,446
Downeast Maine
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,744
Eastern Long Island, NY
According to Market Insider the price per 1,000 bdft is still double pre pandemic and rising again.

I think lumber prices are probably going to start coming down now that winter is coming, and houses are so expensive - even if you buy one, how much money do you have left over to fix it up.

And I am thinking sheathing may be a leading indicator in the lumber sector. I was surprised to see prices for those sheets be the same as before the pandemic. But this is just my crude rough estimate, I could be off by a few.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,446
Downeast Maine
You are seeing the delay in retail pricing vs market price. Lumber was cheaper a few months ago, and that has just now made it to store shelves, it's going back up. That sheathing was bought at lower market price, now the market price is higher.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,327
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
I think the current blip in lumber prices is to be a short one. Much of the demand is being fueled by new house builds, interest rates in both Canada and the US are beginning to rise which will slow housing starts. People will also start going back to work and will be spending less time at home doing renovation projects. I would expect to see lumber prices crash in the next 1-2 years.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,446
Downeast Maine
I don't think lumber prices are ever going below $400/mbft
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,820
Northern NH
I am not so sure, the economy is in an artificial bubble fueled by fed spending. Have a "black swan" event and the interest rates will skyrocket which would stall building. Keep in mind the Social Security checks are going to go up due to inflation the largest amount in decades. The November I bond rate will most likely be over 6%.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,846
Northern Maine
I am not so sure, the economy is in an artificial bubble fueled by fed spending. Have a "black swan" event and the interest rates will skyrocket which would stall building. Keep in mind the Social Security checks are going to go up due to inflation the largest amount in decades. The November I bond rate will most likely be over 6%.
Problem is the 6% SS raise will be diminished by at least a 15% COL increase so a net loss of 9% or more.
 

MTY

Feeling the Heat
Jan 9, 2019
499
Idaho
I had been watching lumber prices around town. 2X6X10' were sitting at just under $9 each. The price dropped to $6.95 at one place so I watched other places for a few days. No movement was apparent. So, I called the $6.95 place Friday to order two units. I was a day late. The price was pushed back up to within a nickel of the rest of the yards. I am waiting once again to see if there is a drop.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,738
SE North Carolina
I talked to a fence builder yesterday. He said they are back down to an increase of 70% from pre pandemic prices. Peaked at about 220%.