Lumber prices - any idea when they will go down?

I’ve got some projects I’d like to do, but not at these prices!

Any idea when lumber prices will go back down?

Probably not until the pandemic is under control toward the end of the summer. There are so many products that are in short supply due to the supply chain being so kinked by this disease. Oddball things that don’t seem like they’d be affected are. We cannot find a metal blade for our Stihl weed whacker. Stihl said they have none…and aren’t ordering them because there are none to get. I haven’t priced lumber, but here in the PNW we usually have good prices on it. There has also been essentially no lull in building, remodeling or folks home doing projects, so supply is often very short on items used for that locally.


Speaking to loggers, there is no shortage of lumber - logs are sitting, waiting to be milled.

Perhaps is there an import issue, from Canada?


I have no clue. It’s killing me though. I almost fell out buying 4x4x8s recently.

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One of my brother’s hunting buddies is a timberman. He lost a little over 3 million acres of timber in the recent Oregon & Calif fires. That could possibly contribute to the price increase out west.

The last US administration put a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber imports.

To further the cost, at least locally, is all pressure treated lumber is now considered toxic waste and scraps can only be disposed of by toxic waste specialists. Typically (i.e. purchase of tires or electronics) these disposal costs are passed on to the consumer. There is currently a bill in the Assembly to restore disposal to previous standards, as the new law will likely promote illegal dumping.


I’m only about a month out from finishing my barn renovation, so I’m sure prices will start dropping in March… :grimacing:


That would be my luck as well

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Very similar news from our timber contact as @Brown_Derby. East coast timber mills are clogged with logs to be milled. COVID closures and regulations combined with a huge upturn in the market by builders and do it yourselves that “had time” during the outbreak. His word on our potential shop construction was we should start to see prices start to drop late April and throughout the summer. We do not have a lumber shortage, we have milled lumber shortage. The west coast may take longer…


then why didn’t the lumber costs go through the roof when it was implemented, the duty was placed on the product that was being dumped on the US market at an unfair pricing causing US mills to close

The new rate (8.9%) is down from the original 20.2 per cent average duty imposed in 2017 by the U.S., which alleged Canada was both unfairly subsidizing its industry and then dumping wood into the U.S. at unfair prices.

this duty was reduce last Nov to 8.9%

“There’s not enough lumber mills and there’s plenty of timber out there, …


Local to me there are several people that produce & sell dimensional lumber from their own small sawmills. And it is usually cheaper (and nicer) than what is sold at large suppliers. They’re often older guys that are semi-retired due to disability, too. So I especially like buying from them. Granted, we have decent hardwood stands in this area, so this wouldn’t be an option for people in say, Maricopa County. And it doesn’t help if you need sheet wood products. But maybe poke around on Craigslist, etc.

Depending on what you’re doing, I’ve also had luck buying off people that bought 100 extra 2 x 4s for a project & need them out of their garage.


Way too much misinformation here to correct all of it. I have been in the wholesale yellow pine industry for forty-four years. So I buy and sell lumber almost every day. Wholesale prices have fallen some in the last two weeks. Probably will as long as the midwest and northeast are having bad weather. Don’t bet the farm that prices will be near “normal” any time soon, particularly when spring business kicks in early March.

A few items skyrocketed last spring when all the stay-at-home people decided to do home improvements. The housing surge that we are now experiencing is the main force driving these prices on most items. Housing has not been this strong in 15-20 years.

There is adequate timber supply and adequate mill production for normal demand. Like everything else, the pandemic has created a new normal. Last March in Chicago everyone buying lumber futures guessed that the prices would plummet. There was not the first person that bought in expecting higher prices. Everyone guessed wrong. In other words if you ask someone when will the prices do down and you get an answer, just assume they don’t know what they are talking about. I can ask 10 other pros and get 11 different answers. One of them will be right. Just won’t know which one until we get there.


I just know that I won’t be doing my raised garden beds until it settles. I’ll just till the suckers into the ground at these prices, screw that! :rofl:

Thanks for the info!

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My family works in the industry, residential, but they all use the same sources. The supply buyer anticipates Fall 2021. My fence installation will have been on hold a full year at that point. :sweat:

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I think I’m just going to rent a tiller at this rate. I’ve started browsing offerup and facebook marketplace to see if anyone has anything left over after a project - I don’t need much, but I refuse to pay these prices.

Yep, dear ole Stepdad says I’d be an idiot to buy now at these prices. Gee, thanks for the advice :laughing:. I don’t think anyone anticipated the price increase would continue climb this high and this far past March 2020. The peak wasn’t the peak. I could have bought fence posts in August for record-setting prices that are cheaper than prices now. Since I’ve waited this long, I think I have to just keep waiting.


It’s nauseating.

My horse is currently boarded at high dollar facility for the area and until I have fences he needs to stay there. So I either pay up for the lumber or pay up on the board bill. Bah humbug

We could not afford the wood fence at first so we put up T-Posts with electric tape. It worked great for several years until we could afford the wood fence install.


I have considered this. And i adore hot fences. Fortunately (?) I have a tiny property so it’s not that many posts I have to pay these crazy lumber prices on. I’m doing no climb wire to keep my dog in and the other dogs out. But that top rail board I planned on is getting replaced by hot tape until these prices settle.

I made the raised beds at our current house using these clever concrete corner blocks that Home Depot sells. The slats hold a 2 x 6. You can stack them 3-4 high. I’m sure there’s a cheaper way out there, but this is the most economical I’ve found.

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I have 8 acres of fencing I need to replace, and its not looking like its getting done until prices come down or next spring.
Debating on just putting up the Ramm fence instead of 4 board wood. It would cut my cost, only concern is the section of fence that is road front.

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