Social distancing is causing an increase in home remodeling and restaurants creating outdoor serving spaces. This construction is increasing the demand for lumber. and mills have been adding extra costs for "Covid-izing" their work place. Dr. Matt McBroom of Stephen F Austin's Forestry Department explains, "Over time the industry is adjusting to all of that. The amount that land owners get paid for their trees in East Texas is really low. But - the price that homeowners and builders has gone up dramatically."
We asked Dr. McBroom if the recent low temperatures will further increase the cost of the East Texas lumber supply. "Weather events like the freeze do affect short-term the amount of logs that we can get out of the woods and into the facilities. But most of the facilities are in pretty good shape. There hasn't been any kind of significant disruption in the supply chain."
Dr. McBroom did say that although the mills processing the lumber have added to their prices to cover their Covid-19 work place adjustments, he predicts prices should stay where they are for the next couple of years.