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The global shortage of timber is getting worse. Due to the superposition of various factors such as strong housing demand in the United States and shortage of containers, the price of wood has generally risen, so all the industry refers to this phenomenon as the “timber crisis.” Some industry insiders think that this situation will continue for a long time.  

In the spring of last year when the when the coronavirus pandemic began to spread, the timber futures price on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world’s largest futures market, once fell below 300 US dollars per thousand board feet. However, timber futures prices began to rise sharply around June 2020, and are now more than twice as high as they were in the spring of 2020, exceeding USD 1,000 per thousand board feet. If the supply continues to be insufficient, consumers are likely to face the problems of delays in housing construction and rising prices of raw materials.

When asked about the reasons for the shortage of wood some industry insiders said:. “Supply capacity is declining, the United States and China’s timber demand is recording a very rapid and unexpected growth”.

In recent years, the North American lumber industry has been affected by beetle infestation in Canada Pests and the timber supply capacity has declined. Coupled with the sudden outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020, many timber industry players believed that global housing demand will further decline, thus reducing the number of orders and the number of employees. But unexpectedly, the US economy recovered quickly. The number of housing starts in March this year was the highest since 2006. The reason is that in the face of the pandemic, the government has introduced low interest rate policies and fiscal stimulus measures, and people’s demand for self-built houses is high. In addition, China’s economy has recovered rapidly.

The demand for wood in the United States and China is growing, but the supply has not kept up, and the price of wood has risen as a result. On a global scale, there is a shortage of freight containers and it is difficult to make reservations for shipping vessels. These factors have also pushed up the price of wood and this situation is expected to continue for a long time.

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