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COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Treated Lumber Market

As the world continues to deal with the health and financial effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic, its destructive impact is being felt far and wide: including in the U.S. lumber market. 

Specifically, according to some estimates, the cost of treated lumber has nearly doubled in the months following the outbreak of the pandemic. The reasons for these cost increases are multifold. 

First, as the pandemic took hold many manufacturers were forced to cut supply output as they worked to retool their plants and reduce their workforces to create safe working conditions that allowed for more space between employees. Industry reports that some workforces were cut by up to 15 percent. Naturally, this caused a similar reduction in supply. 

The second biggest factor was at the same time supply was reduced, demand began to skyrocket. With much of America forced into their homes with stay-at-home orders, weekend warriors and do-it-yourselfers began to work on those long put-off projects around the home. 

Additions were built, decks restored and fences erected. 

Finally, a trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada has also fueled rising costs. Canadian lumber producers are paying average tariffs of more than 20% on shipments to the U.S., meaning an average price increase of about 8% in the U.S. 

The U.S. government placed tariffs on some Canadian lumber in 2017, arguing the industry is unfairly subsidized. While the move seeks to aid domestic lumber producers, it adds to costs for U.S. builders who purchase more than 25 percent of their lumber from our neighbors to the north.

As you can see the perfect storm swelled in the treated lumber market that has left us where we are today. So, how has this impacted our industry?

At Burrow’s Post-Frame Supply, we’ve been working to keep from passing these rising costs directly to our customers, but we know further cost adjustments may be inevitable. We place a high value on being able to offer contractors and homeowners the very best pricing available in the local marketplace. 

We will continue to do our best to weather this storm as we have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year. 

About Burrow’s Post Frame Supply

Burrow’s was founded as an entrepreneurial post-frame builder in 1984. Our 30 years of experience has taught us a lot about the post-frame construction business and we’ve been through uncertain times before and always emerged stronger on the other side. 

Our team of industry experts have firsthand knowledge and fully understand the need for accurate, reliable and cost-effective building material supply. If you’re looking to begin a new pole barn building project, contact us today! 

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