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I’ve been keeping up with the rise and fall of the wholesale lumber market lately because, like many of you, when the board foot price of poplar or oak triples at your local big box retailer, it catches your attention. It’s not quite down to where it was this time last year but at least I don’t have to take out a loan to build the end table my wife is asking for.

So, what happened?

According to Lance Lambert of Fortune magazine, who’s been following this saga, there’s multiple reasons but basically it all boils down to supply and demand and these key drivers:

  • Covid happened, which generated a ton of home improvements by both the pros and DIY’ers
  • Home builders picked up production in Q3 of 2020 which had an immediate impact, and
  • Interest rates dropped causing more home improvements in existing and newly-purchased homes

All of this conspired to drive wholesale lumber prices to $1,515 per 1,000 board feet in May. The good news: according to Fortune, as well as Home Depot’s recent earnings call, the price per 1,000 board feet dropped as low as $432 on 8/9 but has risen a bit to $520 on Friday’s (8/26) close.

Unfortunately, wood prices follow the same economic pattern as oil and gas prices when they rise and fall. That is, the price of gas goes up overnight when oil increases but takes forever to drop; up like a rocket and down like a feather as the old adage goes. Refiners, who purchased the higher priced oil still charge retailers based on what they paid for the oil, and only lower their prices after they sell off the higher cost supply. Same for wood.

So for all you woodworkers out there, wood prices have finally dropped far enough to build something. So join our app and get busy! https://hobbyhack.com

According to market insiders we should see lower retail prices in September, but as small purchasers we’re still just a flea on the dog’s tail trying to hold on.

1. Lance Lambert, Lumber prices are down 74%. But this could drive them up again  (Fortune, Septe

mber 2, 2021)

5 Comments

  • Lisa Powell says:

    This sounds like a great idea in theory. I’m probably a unique case though. My husband has many tools but rarely has the time and patience to show me things and especially deal with my anxiety with larger power tools. Besides being a creative crafter, we need lots of problems solved in our little house and I’d love to tackle them or at least contribute something other than playing gopher.

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  • Itís nearly impossible to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

  • Dave says:

    Thank you for all the nice comments and sorry for the slow response. I’m definitely a novice when it comes to managing a website and just for all the comments over the weekend. I’m working to actively build the subscriber base and plan to provide more content in the coming weeks. You can also check out or social channels for some videos I do in my garage with projects. Thanks again.
    Dave

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