Wood Has Gotten Really Expensive Again. Why?
Over the last few weeks, I was given a honey-do list of things my wife wanted to get done around the house. Most of them were small things, but on the list was a request to fix a few holes in the fence. Not a big deal; I just buy some pickets and put them in place. That's when I noticed that the price of wood had skyrocketed again.
During the beginning stages of Covid-19, lumber prices hit a record level, but had recently started to come back down. Now we're back up at almost record levels.
According to Newsweek, "The most recent producer price index report published by the Labor Department revealed that prices for softwood lumber shot up a whopping 25.4 per cent in the month of January alone."
Newsweek cited Robert Bardon, a professor of forestry and environmental resources and associate dean for extension at North Carolina State University's College of Natural Resources, who said there are a few factors that have hit the lumber biz recently that caused prices to go back up.
First, the housing market is still booming, and construction has not slowed down. This added to the fact that there is still a worker shortage at the mills has put pressure on the supply chain. Bardon also stated that the Canadian trucker protest could have put pressure on moving the wood as well as a lack of train cars to carry the wood where it's needed. So it boils down to less supply at a time of extremely high demand.
Sadly, we may be looking at high prices for a while. I don't see the housing boom slowing down anytime soon, especially in places like Lubbock. The United States also has overall inflation of 7.5 percent, we are paying more on everything else. Since inflation rarely goes down, I guess we're going to have to get used to paying more.