Lumber prices have gone so low that some mills are starting to cut back production because it’s not really worth the investment to cut the raw materials into lumber based on the current pricing. And sometimes that curtailment as they call it is resulting in higher prices.
So according to the Wall Street Journal, some sawmills are cutting production in a bid to lift lumber prices. There’s a list of sawmills who are doing this as you have Interfor, Canfor, and West Fraser Timber have announced curtailments temporary and permanent in British Columbia. They had a log strike but also Oregon Warehouser had a strike of lumber producers. What this says is that the downtime shows that would producers are betting that the plunge in single-family housing is not just temporary. It’s a trend, not a blip. And they’ll have to slow down production considerably to keep lumber prices from crashing. So the mills are taking action and actively reducing their volume to make it worthwhile to cut lumber. This is going to have a ripple effect on the labor market, on shipping, on truck transport even rail yards are going to have less lumber to ship. So the lumber prices having dropped is having a domino effect within the industry and making it harder again for builders to get materials even at lower prices.
Tell us what the scenario is in your neck of the woods. Are the prices staying low? Are they bouncing back up? Is there any shortage of different types of materials?