The past few weeks have seen the lumber market aggressively increasing in price. Many mills are taking a protective stance on pricing until a new lumber trade agreement is reached with Canada. The inclement weather last week did play a small part as well - it increased demand from the eastern mills as deliveries slowed down.
The U.S.A. - Canadian softwood lumber trade agreement signed in 2006 expired in October 2015 with a 12-month moratorium, during which Canada was able to continue shipping lumber tariff-free.
As trade negotiations between the two countries are being discussed, the lumber market will continue to showcase volatile pricing levels on a week-by-week basis. All Canadian lumber mills fear they could be charged retroactively for the business they are currently conducting with American companies. This has lead to higher prices for lumber than one would typically see around this time of the year and an unpredictable market.
We are keeping a close eye on the market during this time, but we suggest that contractors and remodelers be prepared to do some re-quoting in the spring.
More background information on the trade agreement is available here.