Sumary of Western Wildfires Are Hitting Lumber Prices:
- Forest fires raging in the West are threatening an important swath of the U.S.’s wood supply, pinching output that has been under pressure since the Covid-19 pandemic touched off homebuying and remodeling booms and sent lumber prices soaring.
- In addition, lumber prices have fallen below the cost of sawing boards in the continent’s most expensive place to process timber.
- The same heat and drought that set the stage for an unusually early and intense fire season in the West have dried up hydroelectric power output and increased air-conditioning demand in the region, which has helped push natural-gas prices to their highest summer levels in seven years.
- Photo: JR Adams/Reuters A lack of rainfall in South American farming regions has left the Paraná River too shallow for fully loaded boats to pass from Argentina’s interior to Atlantic shipping lanes, contributing to high prices for soybeans and corn.
- Flooding in Germany last week forced the closure of a plant owned by Aurubis AG , a major metal producer and recycler, as copper prices hover around all-time highs.
- “Delivery to customers and acceptance of incoming deliveries are impossible right now,” the firm said.
- Lumber prices topped out in May at more than four times what is typical for two-by-fours, which helped reduce demand, particularly from the more price-sensitive DIY market that buys wood from retailers such as Lowe’s Cos.
- Demand for lumber has skyrocketed during the pandemic, sending prices to all-time highs.