Timber Prices on the Rise
Southeast timber farms haven't been immune to the surging prices of lumber, which have soared by at least 30 percent compared to last year. Hank Stelzer, a University of Missouri Extension forestry specialist, says while wood, particularly products made from spruce pine has also felt the impact of COVID, the pandemic is not the only factor.
"They're actually selling on the export markets. They're exporting wood that is produced here because they can make more money. The Home Builders don't like that and homeowners don't like that because that's reduced supply are changing climate, we're getting a lot more warmer, you know, warmer climates. So our beetle populations are growing and they are just ravaging the force of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest."
Stelzer says when Covid entered pandemic status, several mills slowed down believing demand would slow, but didn't anticipate the extended time spent at home creating demand for improvement projects.
"It's been a perfect storm. There's been an ongoing dispute between Canada united states that was our you know, we get a lot of our wood from Canada because a lot of our federal lands, you know, out west 90% that feeds the mills out there, like I say, that feeds our framing material. So when we don't harvest as much here, they would rely upon Canadian imports. And we had a little thing called a trade war that disputes been going on way before the last couple of years."