Lumber Prices on the Rise – Again

Filed in Material Costs by on December 9, 2020 26 Comments

After drifting lower from mid-September to mid-November, lumber prices are on the rise again. Prices peaked at an all-time high of roughly $950 per thousand board feet in September before gradually moving down to around $550 per thousand board feet last month.

However, according to Random Lengths, lumber prices are now above $650 per thousand board — up nearly 20% over the past four weeks.

Elevated lumber prices since mid-April have added thousands of dollars to the cost of new single-family homes and apartment units.

Indications are that lumber producers are reducing production heading into the slower winter building season, even as new residential construction continues to outpace seasonal norms.

However, there is some good news on the lumber front regarding tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration published an administrative review of anti-dumping duties in late November, followed by an administrative review of countervailing duties on Dec. 1.

The effect of the reviews is that duties on shipments of Canadian lumber into the United States, which currently stand at 20%, will be reduced by more than half, to roughly 9%. The tariff reductions are expected to go into effect in mid-December.

“This is a step in the right direction, as tariffs have contributed to unprecedented price volatility in the lumber market, leading to higher prices and harming housing affordability for American families,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “The United States needs to work with Canadian officials to end the tariffs and achieve a long-term, stable solution in lumber trade that provides for a consistent and fairly priced lumber supply.”

NAHB continues to work on all fronts to find solutions that will ensure a lasting and stable supply of lumber for the home building industry at a competitive price.

For more information on the tariff reduction, contact Felicia Watson at 800-368-5242 x8229 or David Logan at x8448.

Comments (26)

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  1. Tim says:

    Please Please Please !! Help get these Lumber Prices Back In Check !! This is Price Gouging !!!

    • jean says:

      Here we go again! 868 dollars. I have to find a window to buy for an upcoming build. I can’t afford to just toss away tens of thousands of dollars.

  2. Agreed! The good news is there are alternative panel products that we need to research and share with our membership!
    Why should a monopoly control our pricing?
    ONwards and UPwards with NAHB fighting the Department of Commerce and price-fixing!

  3. Johnson says:

    We need to support our US Timber industry and responsible harvest levels. Increasing our timber supply on State and Federal Lands needs more support from the NAHB especially in Alaska but also in California where this timber harvest will also help mitigate wild fires!!

  4. Craig Adamski says:

    OMG why would mills cut back production?? Demand is at all time high! Builders are starting projects mow to get spec home to market for apring. Someone needs to put pressure on the mills to produce! This is ridiculous

  5. Joe says:

    We are staring to move towards metal studs and hoping
    this will put a little pressure on the lumber company’s
    Wood it not the only alternative!!

  6. Frank G says:

    I too am exploring the idea of using metal studs. Who would have thought there would be a day metal studs are becoming more cost effective than wood!

  7. Ken Alexander says:

    The mills in Canada, under severe snow & Winter weather, even sans tariffs, may not resolve issues as they cannot harvest the trees. There is no timber shortage in the US, it is the mills who are creating the dilemna. I have over 100 acres to harvest but the mills are refusing loads. They used to have acres of logs on the ground to mill and now take trucks ‘as needed’ and severely limit the “need” creating shortages & demand to elevate market prices. It is simply greed & political to stifle the economy. When we do get free flow from Canada, the US mills will step up to get market share.

    • Jean says:

      So that will be late spring, do you think? I’m looking at the lumber consuming 1/4th of my building project. Maybe I should wait.

  8. Bill Setag says:

    Its all about money! The mills are getting it while they can by cutting back production in the winter months, to only raise prices to then flood the market … whoever gets there first with the most lumber, in the spring, will get a bonanza bonus. Additionally, they know the next USA administration will raise taxes. Who takes it on the chin? … the little guy!

  9. Mike Wensel says:

    Start a mill. Produce when others won’t. Make lots of money, eat your competition for lunch and make your customers happy. Sounds like a good plan to me. Roll with that one.

  10. Aly Blanks says:

    So when are lumber prices expected to drop/level out. We have had to put our build on hold per the lumber prices causing our 2100 squft house to jump from $250-$300k to $350k in just 3 weeks time.

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