Lumber demand causes rise in prices amid coronavirus pandemic

Lumber industry making a comeback

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Conoravirus crisis is having an impact on all forms of business from major retailers and mom and pop stores to even building.

During the pandemic lumber has been in short supply.

With the spread of COVID-19 the demand for lumber has outpaced the supply.

Industry insiders say manufacturing was slow during the winter but then the pandemic hit.

There was a surge in home improvement projects.

Lauren Benner is Executive Director of the Mississippi Lumber Manufacturers Association.

"Many of our sawmills that are our members of the MLMA reduced their capacity by about 10 to 15 percent," said Benner. "They implemented new policies and procedures to make sure they created a safe environment for their employee".

Miller Lumber Sales Manager Alan Walters reports that the price of some products jumped 40 to 60 percent.

Before the pandemic a 4x4 8 treated piece of lumber sold for $7.00. It will now cost you $12.50 to $13.00.

"With the demand you will also see come price increases, but we're hoping with our increased production that in the next month to two months maybe max that we will be able to catch up with the demand," Benner added.

There are about 200 sawmills in the state with 20 large operations. Forestry is Mississippi's second highest commodity producing lumber and wood products across the country and internationally.

The Forestry industry employs about 50,000 people and contributes $9 billion dollars annually to the State of Mississippi.

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