It’s a commodity price surge that no one really saw coming. Involving wood. In particular, it's framing lumber, plywood flooring, and sidewall sheets that are in huge demand.  Once the COVID-19 outbreak hit and people were forced to stay home, renovation projects became hugely popular. So did wood.

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Investing.com reports the numbers are staggering. Lumber futures last March were holding at about $250 per 1,000 board feet. This week, we’re looking at around $1,420. That’s a whopping increase of well over 500%.

People who went into contracts with home builders to construct new homes are sorting out how they are going to adapt to the price change.  And that’s if builders can even secure the lumber needed.

The National Association of Home Builders offers that on average, the price of a new build for an average-sized single-family home has jumped by more than $36,000. And it’s not just wood that is going up. Insulating material is up around 25%. Garage doors are up about 11%. Even windows are in high demand. The lead time for orders used to be a couple of weeks. Now it is up to 4 months.

There’s another factor entering into the picture along with the huge increase in demand for building supplies nationwide. Many mills had to shut down for a while at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Then when they started back into production, getting some workers to return was tough since they were making more on government boosted unemployment than being on the job. That’s an issue employers across the board in the US are experiencing.  That is having an impact on the supply chain in general. Even the trucking industry is short on drivers. We’ve already been hearing about related gasoline shortages developing due to not enough trucks on the road.

Bridge Michigan reports another pending shortage being talked about is one-gallon metal paint cans. It may just keep coming at us for months.

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