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Like many materials, wood and especially construction timber is in high demand and prices are soaring.

A fourfold increase since the start of the year and the recovery. Lumber prices are soaring in the United States. There are two reasons for this: first, the increase in demand. The construction of new houses in a country where most of them are made of wood. After the peak of the pandemic, millennials and young working people want to settle down and have individual houses built.

The other reason is the difficulty in adapting the offer. Construction timber is a slow growing material. It takes time to grow a tree that can provide sufficiently large boards and panels. It is therefore difficult to increase production overnight. In addition, logistical supply difficulties hit the sector like any other.

New sources of supply

American builders are therefore looking for wood everywhere. Recognizing the problem, the Biden administration has even initiated a process to review the surcharges on Canadian lumber. It could be the at least provisional resolution of a decades-old conflict.

The United States is also seeking to diversify its sources of supply. Direction Europe, therefore. But on the old continent, American demand is encountering two problems. First, the export restrictions and even, for certain products, the ban, put in place by Russia.

A material also highly sought after by China

The result is strong competition with China, which is also looking to Europe. Here too, construction timber is in great demand, less for reasons of traditional construction techniques than for environmental reasons, for its image as an ecological and sustainable product.

Manufacturers are also finding it difficult to meet demand and prices are increasing everywhere, even if it is less strongly than in the United States. The phenomenon affects the entire sector, even outside of construction. French casket manufacturers, for example, faced with increased demand due to the large number of victims of the coronavirus, have also increased their prices.

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