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While the lumber outlook was bearish as recently as a few months ago, changes in the market that impacted supply—including mill curtailments and forest fires—and housing strength caused prices to increase.

A strong May new-housing construction report and continued low lumber inventory levels in the latter weeks of June contributed to strong demand for wood, and prices on many items rebounded, with specialty commodities such as studs experiencing the largest growth, according to Madison’s Lumber Reporter.

“Customers were caught flat-footed by diminishing supply as actual building activity got into high gear for the first time this year,” says Keta Kosman, publisher of Madison’s Lumber Reporter. “Severe wildfires in the north were ongoing, while weather conditions provided little hope of a respite any time soon. The unknowns of possible sawmill curtailments and lowered lumber production volumes served to motivate buyers to step in with booking purchases for wood needed into the coming weeks and months.”

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