Top Quality, Reasonable Costs Despite Worldwide Price Fluctuations
If lumber prices could only petrify at the root, we would all be able to permanently—and happily—plan our future costs with ease.
Unfortunately, that’s not reality.
Why Do Lumber Prices Fluctuate So Widely?
Lumber is a commodity, a raw agricultural product bought and sold around the world. Prices of all commodities are propelled by the pressures of supply and demand.
It used to be easy to pinpoint the reasons for a sharp increase in costs, such as a single hurricane. In the last twenty years or so, this seems to have changed. Specific price factors appear to be more abundant, and compounded with extreme, varying degrees of cost influence.
Just a handful of the contributing factors include wildfires, environmental changes such as severe storms, bad winters, the rising number of beetle-kill timber, tariffs between the United States and our trading countries, strikes, pulp values, currency arbitrage, and rippling effects from oil prices which impact transportation costs. Oil costs impact transportation costs, but limitations to hours in service for drivers has been a huge impact as well.
Over the last two years, we have witnessed some of the most dramatic changes in lumber prices. Beginning in 2016, an average western mill cost for 2×4 lumber was $243 per thousand board feet. The cost rose to a record high of $655 in the summer of 2018, before falling back down to $298 by the end of the year.
Who Is Impacted?
Everyone along the supply line feels these price swings, from sawmills to distributors, brokers, retailers, timberland owners, and consumers. Each member of this chain relies on the others for success, so we continue to work together toward cost consistency as much as the market allows.
Does This Mean Quality Suffers?
Living in a world market where prices are fluid, JAY-K Lumber has built firm alliances with mills and distributors to continue providing the best opportunity for obtaining the quality of lumber we all want and expect.
Whether you’re a homeowner, contractor, or business that relies on our lumber products to see your projects to fruition, know that in a world of turbulent factors, JAY-K Lumber will continue to provide top-quality lumber at the reasonable costs you deserve.
Have a question about our lumber products or need an assist on your next project? Stop in at JAY-K Lumber, or start by asking an expert.
Have any questions? Ask one of our experts!