Throughout the pandemic, contractors throughout the US saw lumber prices skyrocket for a variety of different reasons, including a huge increase in DIY and home remodeling projects, sawmill shut downs, and wildfires. In September, there wasn’t a lot of positivity about the situation getting better any time soon, but prices have slowly started to come back down to earth since then – though still much higher than normal.

Part of that recent price drop was due to the US Department of Commerce significantly decreasing tariffs imposed on Canadian softwood lumber, according to the NAHB. Originally imposed in 2017, the tariffs imposed on imported lumber averaged around 20% and have subsequently been lowered to around 9% on average, after an administrative review.

The NAHB, who has been on the forefront of calling for the federal government to reduce the tariffs for several months, says that there’s still more work to be done to continue lowering lumber prices back to a reasonable number.

“The Commerce Department’s action to reduce duties from more than 20% to 9% on softwood lumber shipments from Canada into the U.S. is a positive development, but more needs to be done,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, in a blog post. “Tariffs have contributed to unprecedented price volatility in the lumber market in 2020, leading to upward pressure on prices and harming housing affordability for American consumers. The U.S. needs to work with Canada to end the tariffs and achieve a long-term, stable solution in lumber trade that provides for a consistent and fairly priced supply of lumber.”

How has lumber pricing affected your projects since the beginning of the pandemic? Let me know in the comment section.

Full Story: Commerce Department Cuts Lumber Tariffs from 20% to 9% | NAHB Now


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