Lumber prices have been climbing and that has caused a shortage, with an increase in tree poaching going on in Canada right now. Some regions have set up extra security now for lumber yards and construction sights because of the threat right now with prices so high.
The lumber market is out of control
With prices quadrupling from only a year ago it has some wondering when the issue might start to normalize. When will supply reach up to the demand that we are seeing? It has not been able to catch up until now. The lumber price increases have also already made their way into the real estate market, boosting the cost of housing thousands of dollars already.
Shortage might get worse before it gets better
In Canada and around the United States we are seeing a severe lumber shortage and drastically increasing prices in the lumber market. That has some areas seeing tree poaching now, like on Vancouver Island and in other regions.
Lumber Factories Closed Last Year
During the pandemic we saw that a variety of lumber factories closed and that is playing some role in the supply issue. When lumber production was drastically cut short then that meant we would eventually see that impact the market and now the supply that is out there cannot keep up with the demand we are seeing today.
They didn’t anticipate the DIY demand last year.
Many people stuck at home stared doing their own upgrades and going to get construction supplies, lumber etc, at local home improvement stores. This heavily impacted the supply which couldn’t keep up with the demand as we are seeing now.
It is expected that eventually the supply will catch up with demand but when exactly that might happen is a guessing game.
Lumber Supply Chain Issues
The lumber supply tightened up with the factories closing last year and we saw that more people started doing construction at-home projects too and altogether now the market is faced with a significant rise in lumber prices.
Lumber demand is at an all-time high today and some producers still aren’t operating at 100% just yet.
The unprecedented lumber shortage fueling tree poaching
The dramatic rise in price for lumber now has some thefts taking place with tree poaching going on around Canada and elsewhere. Construction yards are being broken into because people are looking for this hard-to-find product that a number of businesses rely on today.
Tree poachers armed with chainsaws have been hitting up different areas of Canada and looking for lumber.
Forest Patrols in Canada for Security
Some businesses have also been stolen from as well with people looking for get some high-demand lumber and this has prompted some communities to come up with forest patrols now.
There are already over 100 trees that have been stolen on Vancouver Island and other thefts that have taken place around Canada and elsewhere.
It isn’t anything new as people have gone out in areas around B.C. and other regions of Canada before to cut down trees, but lately it has gotten worse. Because of the soaring lumber prices in the market right now it’s fueling a trend of more people looking to engage in these activities of poaching trees.
Going out and cutting down random trees could be endangering ecosystems and now more areas will be looking at improving security to try and address this problem.
The lumber prices are climbing and around the United States have already increased, according to one estimate, more than 300 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. It is expected that those prices will remain high for at least the first half of the year.
Things are getting worse in Canada as well for lumber since the beginning of the pandemic. This year some small businesses have been scrambling to find suppliers as the demand reaches new heights that the market isn’t ready to keep up with yet.
Small businesses that need wooden crates and pallets are going to be seeing higher prices and might have a harder time securing those products. The problem has allegedly fueled a rise in tree poaching in Canada now.
It is not only a growing issue in Canada but in some places around the U.S. they are also facing the same problem now. Trees are vanishing as the tree poaching crime spree continues and lumber prices are still not back to normal.
To landowners who are victimized this sort of tree theft can be financially devastating, costing hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on how many trees are stolen.
Increased patrols are already being established in different communities to try and address the problem.
No one can clearly estimate when things might return to normal.
Lumber production declining significantly last year was going to show up in the market eventually and it was anticipated last year that we would see prices continue to climb because of that disconnect between supply and demand currently.
When will the lumber prices return to normal? The lumber shortage might be getting worse before it gets any better. Some analysts suspect that by the end of the year we might see some return to normalcy. If they are right then that means we might still be months away before seeing those lumber prices decline.
Much of a Guessing Game
There are already some organizations, like the National Home Builders Association in the United States which has called on lawmakers to propose solutions to the problem. They want lawmakers to examine the supply chain and try to address this issue and that might mean re-examining tariffs on lumber from Canada.
No one can clearly predict how long this problem might last, we could see it get better in months from now a few have suggested, and others say they hope by next year it will turn around. For many small businesses and other who need these products though they pay a high price to wait.