Adobe Stock/Andy Dean Photography

The price of lumber has risen by over 60% since early 2017, owing in part to the impact of forest-fires, tree-eating beetles, transportation shortages and, most recently, a 20% tax imposed by the U.S. on the Canadian lumber supply. At the same time, housing starts rose 18% YOY in May 2018, and the demand for lumber in new construction is expected to continue to rise.

Many U.S. lumber producers are taking this opportunity to expand their operations. Maine-based Pleasant River Lumber expects to invest $20 million in company expansion over the next two years, and aims to increase production by 50% and add up to 40 new jobs.

“I think with the duties that are in place, that’s given us a level of confidence that we didn’t have before, [and] we’re able to expand and produce more lumber,” says Jason Brochu, co-president of Pleasant River Lumber. “You’re seeing it throughout the country where mills are expanding, or building new mills, and our industry is starting to grow to meet the increase in the demand.”

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