December 2021

Fall 2021

Lumber is making another run to higher ground and currently sits around $1,100/Mbf.  Just a few months ago it was hovering around $500/Mbf. Again, the old adage of supply and demand is at play.  When lumber prices fell demand picked up as more do-it-yourselfers entered the market and wholesale yards added inventory.  Then the lumber supply pipeline started constricting as the hang over from a bad Northwest fire season took effect, and more recently, record rainfall hit British Columbia, a region that produces significant lumber. The resulting floods and mudslides from the heavy rain destroyed transportation routes, which caused mayhem in the wood products supply chain. Consequently, lumber supplies became tight as demand increased and lumber prices went up.

 

Now to the local log market.  Well, as you can see from the above prices, only modest changes.  Most mill yards contain acceptable log inventories for this time of year, so there has been little incentive to increase prices. Again, supply and demand dynamics.

 

With current mill inventories in mind, I’m hard pressed to see much of a log-price change in the near future.  A lot will depend on our winter/early spring weather and whether loggers are able to maintain reasonable log deliver levels to the mills. If we have a prolonged rainy season log prices are likely to increase, but of course, then the challenge will be dealing with soft ground and getting logs to the mill.

 

Mike Wolcott, ACF, Certified Forester

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