March 2021 Lumber and Commodity Report
The RoMac Building Supply Wood Commodity Index (Index) for March 2021 increased 9.6 percent to $1,023.27 per thousand, which is a record high. No wood commodity decreased in price on the Index with CDX Pine Plywood and wide-width Pine 2×12 leading the advancers. While the market increases have subsided in veracity lately, there has been no significant retreat and with warming weather across the country, that seems less likely.
The dimensional lumber portion of the Index increased 7.0 percent to $1,087 per thousand. Spruce studs in all lengths were up almost $100 per thousand or 8.6 to 12.6 percent. Dimensional spruce 2×4 added 0.5 to 11.1 percent, with shorter lengths garnering the premium price. 2×12 pine was up 12.8 to 14.6 percent of an average of $170 per thousand. 2×4 treated added 4.2 percent of $55 per thousand. 2×4-16, the hot item from a month ago, only added $5 in the last 30 days, but the price remains at record levels.
The sheathing portion of the Index is much higher, adding 21.9 percent of $175.17 per thousand. CDX pine plywood is up 23.5 to 25.8 percent, or almost $250 per thousand. That is nearly an $8 per sheet increase in one month. OSB sheathing jumped a little less than 7.0 percent of $55 per thousand, which translates to $1.76 per sheet. This is not hurricane season – it’s March. That in itself makes these record numbers spooky as we look to the future.
The wood commodity markets are in shambles and as demand heats up with a warm spring and summer, supply and pricing could get worse. If the delays on jobsites due to windows and doors grow worse, this could slow demand and dampen pricing. Honestly, I would suspect builders would switch window sizes and types of doors to keep projects moving. The next 30 days will be challenging for builders and all should get ahead of these price increases. Hope for the best but expect the worst.
Don Magruder is the Chief Executive Officer of RoMac Building Supply in Central Florida and he is a former President of the Southeast Mississippi Home Builders Association, and past Associate Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Lake County. To contact Magruder, email him through our Contact Page.