A combination of challenging wet weather in the Southeast where a lot of timber is logged for lumber in the domestic market and the general marketplace’s recovery from the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have lumber prices skyrocketing around the country. Though stumpage costs have increased by about 12% in the last year, it’s a far cry from the consumer price spike and though the supply chain isn’t entirely empty, supply and demand issues are still contributing to high prices as processing and transportation logistics continue to challenge the sector. Much like in other sectors of agriculture, labor plays a huge role; industry analysts say labor shortages in logging, mill operation and trucking are all contributing to the rocketing market. Excessively wet weather from winter through this spring has contributed to operation-level bottlenecks, with heavy rainfall creating challenges for logging crews. Moving forward, labor will be the main driver of price direction in what some say could become the “new normal” in the lumber sector. See more on the situation.