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Lumber Prices - Worst Week Ever

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August 03, 2020
Lumber as well as panel prices had arguably their worst weeks ever this week (from our perspective, at least).
Mill order files stretched into early- and late-September for panels and framing lumber, respectively.  The most context-defining sentence I’ve read this week is that #2 boards in some dimensions were selling at or near the price of appearance grade products.
The torrid pace of increases in the structural panel and framing lumber composite prices is currently being set by OSB and SPF, respectively.  Prices paid for OSB have risen 60% over the past four weeks, while Western SPF prices have increased 40% over the same period.
Since the most recent trough of the Framing Lumber Composite Price on April 17, prices have climbed 80%, on average.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the tremendous government advocacy effort that is and has been, underway to help usher in and end to this historic price run.  Not only have we been in constant contact with the Hill, we sent letters to Commerce Secretary Ross and US Trade Representative Lighthizer this week asking for an in-person or virtual sit-down with them and their staffs to put this crisis into context and suggest ways they could help ameliorate the problem.  This has been a combined effort undertaken by the federal affairs, legal, communications, and economics departments, led by senior management.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have.  The more we hear from you, the members, the better, most accurate boots-on-the-ground stories we can relay to the media, government, and other interested parties.
David Logan

DAVID   LOGAN   Director, Tax & Trade Policy Analysis
National Association of Home Builders
1201 15th Street, NW | Washington, DC 20005
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