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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Will lumber prices ever return to 'normal' ?
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socceronly
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 10:36
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Not sure what it's like in your neck of the woods.... but here in Vancouver I was paying $7 ($5.50US) for a single 2x4. The hockey stick factory (Home Depot) has them on for $5.10 now so maybe it's come down a bit already.

4x8 sheet of sanded 3/4" was $82 after tax.

But people are buying it... all of it.

I can't see prices coming down for a long time.

Think I might weld my framing with scrap steel....or just not build at all this summer.

Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 10:43
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Socceronly, that is a great question. With everything going on in the world, I fear this will get worse before it ever gets better. In my opinion, 2019 was the last of the good old years. I doubt things will ever return to 2019 levels of well stocked shelves and low prices. Me, I’m stocking up on anything that I think is of value for any of my planned projects. I only hit town once a month and have a trailer stashed so I can bring back to my wilderness those items I need. Also working to make my own lumber.

Just my opinion...

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 10:47 - Edited by: gcrank1
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It isnt just market demand; ie, mills not running to capacity thus 'shortage' thus higher prices, it is inflation/devaluation of any currency's purchase power.
Increase the money supply (due to whatever reason, currently Covid, but never mention bad fiscal policy/money management) by double and it cuts the purchase power of 'each dollar' in half.
We have seen petro fuels come down from their previous highs, but what else has? And when are those petro fuels going back up?
Imo, prices for lumber will settle out at about 50% above what they were before. That is what Im using to calc my needs anyway.....

paulz
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 11:09
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Wow. I need some studs for some shelving, checked HD two days ago, $3.50 a pop. Just checked after seeing this thread, up 2 bucks! Luckily just need a few. Plywood has been crazy for awhile.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 12:12
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I just got 1 1x12, 8 feet long. 1 1x12, 12 feet long, and 1 48 inch, 7/8 dowel rod. Total with tax.
$49.72.

Houska
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 18:11
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In my opinion, lumber prices will come down, but likely not before mid-summer or even the fall.

Demand is being driven up by a) COVID stay-at-homes building stuff DIY, b) a continued booming residential home market. Supply is c) constrained by rough lumber the mills have, d) by supply chain issues (turning into finished lumber, distribution).

a) and d) will continue until COVID is more or less resolves, i.e. vaccination is commonplace and life is back to "normal" (I'm not focused on how many will refuse vaccination, I'm referring to when those who want to will be able to get the shot, and constraints on the economy will subside).

c) will resolve over several months, and may even overshoot. b) and a) will both quite likely reverse in a year or two as we actually all pay the piper for slowing down the economy for a year.

All of that together means I don't see why lumber prices would drop in the next few months. And I don't see why they'd stay high long-term, i.e. past the summer/fall.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 19:04 - Edited by: gcrank1
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If the inflation/devaluation was not a factor Id agree, but those are the biggest reason prices continually spiral upward. The supply/demand thing runs like a sine wave up/down as a bell curve and reverse bell but the base line of both the curves is constantly going upward.
Add to that the need for a profit to stay in business and all the increasing costs of doing business and you can see that prices cant fall below the cost of production, including delivery and market.

Houska
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 20:32 - Edited by: Houska
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Well, current futures markets can be seen at https://www.cmegroup.com/trading/agricultural/lumber-and-pulp/random-length-lumber.ht ml, versus historicals at https://www.macrotrends.net/futures/lumber

So, on average, traders currently expect prices in summer 2021 to drop down about 30% or so from now, to about 50% above spring/summer 2019 levels but below spring 2018 levels.

Of course, traders may be very wrong. And will vary by geography and specific dimensions/product.

Princelake
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 22:29
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I sure hope it comes down also. I’m currently planning on building this spring but that won’t happen at these prices. If they don’t come down my lot is going up for sale.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 22:56
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We bought our current place because we like the land, the rough, simple cabin was a plus....maybe....not built like I would but so far we can use it.
How about building a good sized deck that you could 'tent on'? Or a pavilion or gazebo? Lots less wood, still usable when you build a real structure and maybe can be done without complications or permits?
If ours burned down or the powers that be red flag it Id sure think on the above 'cause we like the land that much.

socceronly
Member
# Posted: 6 Jan 2021 00:58
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Deck and tent shelter are the plan currently.

Going to start in May.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 6 Jan 2021 08:11
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When something occurs which results in shortages or supply disruptions that cause prices for a specific set of good to go up, all the companies raise the "MSRP". But as time goes on and supply disruptions are resolved and stock is readily available, NONE of the prices at the retail level come down, regardless if the wholesale prices comes down.

We have seen this constantly & continually repeated and not just in the Lumber sector...

This is no different than teh Shrink-Flation tactics used by all teh companies. Rather than increasing the price for "Product A", they come out with a New & Improved packaging which contains less prodfuct at the same price or slightly higher.

Remember when a Pound of Bacon (454 grams) was an actual POUND and not 300 grams ! How about that 1 Pound of coffee that is now 300 grams.

When the Duties on steel increased, cost of nails went up, when the duties were cancelled no costs came down.

Joe & Jane Q Public put up with it and corporations will keep doing it... Ever feel like you're getting Roto-Rootered up the backside ?

drb777
Member
# Posted: 9 Jan 2021 19:55
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As several have alluded to, high priced lumber can, to an extent, be explained by the actual decrease in the value of our currency. (Caused by the tremendous deficit spending.) Normally, these changes happen at such a slow rate, the consumers hardly notice. But with other current factors, not this time. Likewise, finished beef prices are sky-high, and not likely to decrease anytime soon, if ever.
Not really a great (cheap) solution, but I've been making my own lumber with a Woodmizer sawmill. 'Lots of work, when you include harvesting & handling the trees, but very satisfying if you enjoy such things.

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