The National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association sent a letter earlier this week to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo regarding the continued volatility of lumber prices and the effects it is having on the LBM industry, residential construction and the larger economy.

The letter requests a meeting with Secretary Raimondo and her staff to discuss the impact that these prices are having on LBM dealers and potential remedies to mitigate the ongoing crisis.

Since April of 2020, the cost of lumber has nearly tripled and oriented strand board (OSB) prices are up more than 250%. According to estimates by the National Association of Home Builders, these increases have caused the cost of building an average, new, single-family home to rise by more than $24,000 and the cost of the average new multifamily unit increase by $9,000 over the same period.

It’s not the first time Secretary Raimondo has received a plea for intervention on the topic of lumber prices, with a cohort of associations soliciting government intervention earlier this month. However, the NLBMDA letter calls on the Department of Commerce specifically to return to the negotiating table with Canada to enact a new Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) and to more thoroughly examine supply constraints as it relates to lumber production.

The NLBMDA leadership has stated in a press release that it will continue to stay in contact with the Biden Administration regarding this critical issue and will be sure to keep members updated on the latest developments.

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