Lumber prices rise to all-time high in Canada

February 21, 2021

Prices for Western spruce-pine-fir have jumped to $1,000 (U.S.) per thousand board feet

Canadians' heightened appetite for lumber during the pandemic has carried over into 2021 and prices do not appear to be decreasing this winter.

Last week, lumber prices in North America for Western SPF (spruce-pine-fir) topped $1,000 (U.S.) per thousand board feet — an all-time high — despite market analysts reporting that sales were expected to decline over the winter months.

Biiibo employee prepares for a lumber delivery.

Prices have continued to climb since January, in large part due to continued demand for lumber and supply shortages at lumber mills. 

"In the first week of February sawmills were taking orders that would not even go on the production line until the beginning of March," Madison's Lumber Reporter wrote in a report on Feb. 17. "This provides good indication that prices are not going to go down anytime soon."

The Madison's Lumber report outlined the continued hike in Canadian Western SFP prices, with data showing that the week of Feb. 8, one type of softwood lumber called Western S-P-F KD 2×4 #2&Btr, which has been steadily climbing, increased to $992 (U.S.) per thousand board feet, from $960 the week prior. One year ago, it was sitting at $402 (U.S.).

With building season around the corner, the state of the industry could pose a challenge to builders and lumber producers alike.

When will lumber prices drop?

Analysts predict lumber prices are likely to remain high for quite a while longer, though the timeline is difficult to forecast. In order to see a decline in the current rates, construction would have to slow down and/or lumber supply would have to catch up with demand.

What can Biiibo do to help?

On the construction and renovation side, Biiibo can help customers source the lumber they require for their project, from framing lumber to pressure-treated lumber and more, at the best possible prices during this time. Customers can browse through our online catalogue or contact us directly for more information about how we can help.




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