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Thread: “ Lumber prices sink as hoarders unload”

  1. #1
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    “ Lumber prices sink as hoarders unload”

    The above headline appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. The article with it said “futures for July delivery ended Tuesday at $1009.90 per thousand board feet, down 41% from the record of $1711.20 reached in early May. “
    Maybe relief is in sight?😊
    Dennis

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    There's an existing thread in Workshops on this, but yes, the trend has already been heading down on lumber futures since the peak in May. Obviously, there will be a lag relative to affecting wholesale and retail prices, but the trend bodes well for the construction industry as well as those of us who have projects like new shops, etc., waiting for more moderate pricing. The lessening demand because of many folks "returning to the office" isn't hurting this either...aside from the supply challenges, increased home improvement activities over the last year were also a factor in the price escalation because of demand.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    That article also points to trading futures as opposed to actual equities. Lumber commodity market is still insane and will be for a good while. https://markets.businessinsider.com/...s/lumber-price

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    The big box stores can take a slight loss on lumber so they will start dropping prices sooner. The local Lowes is about a buck cheaper on a 2x4 than a month ago. The smaller lumber yards will lag behind some.

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    With my retirement on hold cause can't afford to build my last home/shop due to material prices, will the end of the year lumber prices be down? Or would spring next yr be better and cheapest for lumber such as plywood? I hate to buy OSB in place of plywood.

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    I was in Lowe’s yesterday to grab a rattle can of lacquer. Took a stroll through the lumber section for entertainment. Not a single price anywhere on plywood so I don’t know on that. The only thing that had a price was the 2x4x8’s……….$8.25.

    Not sure how long ago, but maybe a few weeks, the highest I saw in the same store was $7.99. They must not have gotten the memo on lowering prices…..

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    Another thing I noticed that gave me a chuckle…..they are also selling 4’ studs and even 2’ studs. The guy said the 2x4’s that don’t sell because they are a mess get cut up into 4’ or 2’, then they sell fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah Eckert View Post
    Another thing I noticed that gave me a chuckle…..they are also selling 4’ studs and even 2’ studs. The guy said the 2x4’s that don’t sell because they are a mess get cut up into 4’ or 2’, then they sell fine.
    I like buying these short pieces, not for framing, but for small homeowner projects. Since I no longer have a truck, they are convenient. They're serving their customer base.

    I read that one of the factors behind the price jump was the giant forest fires in the PNW and Canada last summer, so it might be worth keeping an eye on that situation this year to predict what the market will be like next spring.
    Hobbyist

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    I can see they are handy. But these are in the lumber section in full racks, not the homeowner project center. That’s what gave me the chuck. The 2 footers were $2.50.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carroll Courtney View Post
    With my retirement on hold cause can't afford to build my last home/shop due to material prices, will the end of the year lumber prices be down? Or would spring next yr be better and cheapest for lumber such as plywood? I hate to buy OSB in place of plywood.
    It's hard to predict when wholesale/retail prices will fall specifically as they lag the futures data, but we can only hope that there will be some positive movement by the end of the calendar year. Some retail prices have moderated "slightly" in some geographic, but not to the extent that it's going to make anyone say "wow, those prices are pretty good". I don't have the retirement decision that you do since I already did that deed at the end of 2017, but I do have a new shop project that will be affected by material costs coming as soon as our old property is sold.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    ...and supposedly they're going back up again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2jozhIX4Vo&t=620s

    I know the name of the channel is "uneducated economist", but he's been working in the lumber yard of various hardware stores for a very long time. His info is that it's going to go back up again, provided to him by an anonymous source from a lumber yard he orders from. Driving this will be an increase in "stump" prices, which is the price paid to cut down a tree. Until recently these have not changed, with the sawmill being the key bottleneck. He's been pretty much spot on about a lot of what's going on with these prices because he sees it first hand.

    Further there is no relief for plywood/OSB in part because of problems with the resins which have to come out of Texas, which means the plant was effected by the power issues they just had recently in addition to the COVID problems.

    My two cents is that it's a mug's game to try to bet on inflation. Just too much stuff going on in such a complex system to ever be able to know what might happen. By delaying a project because of prices you're making an implicit bet that prices later on will be lower. There is good reason to believe this as stimulus rolls off, but then again it could go the other way with shortages from demand.

    I personally went ahead with my shop expansion, adding 16' to the front of a 2 car garage, and bit the bullet. Obviously for other things might be different, but for me the main cost was my time. I also waited last year when I was told prices would be going down, building a shed instead. Prices went up.

    Finally, while prices may come down, I would not expect them to necessarily come all the way down to the previous price. Some of the factors driving that lower price seem to have abated, and there are rumors that the Trump tariffs on lumber from Canada will be extended by the Biden administration. (Let's not turn this into a political debate, but these tariffs do effect prices).
    Last edited by Andrew More; 06-21-2021 at 2:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    I hate to buy OSB in place of plywood.
    In some cases - it's buy plywood instead of OSB!
    OSB is around $70 for a sheet of 3/4".
    Hardwood plywood is just a couple bucks more for cabinet grade!

    The whole world has gone nuts.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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    Penn State Extension explains why lumber prices have increased.
    https://extension.psu.edu/pennsylvan...t-quarter-2021

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Stelts View Post
    Penn State Extension explains why lumber prices have increased.
    https://extension.psu.edu/pennsylvan...t-quarter-2021
    Time to get some black cherry.

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