AGC asks Biden for relief from soaring lumber prices

Kennith Bogan

Dive Brief:

  • Following the unexpected, extraordinary selling price spikes on an array of developing products in 2021, the Involved Standard Contractors of The united states has appealed to President Joe Biden to acquire motion to simplicity the skyrocketing cost of lumber.
  • In a Feb. 18 letter, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr asked Biden to urge domestic lumber producers to ramp up generation to address expanding shortages, as perfectly as to make the crafting of a new softwood lumber settlement with Canada a prime precedence of his administration.
  • “The extreme runup in current months for the rate of all classes of lumber has produced a hardship for contractors that had been identified as upon earlier in the pandemic to create areas vitally required for care of patients, social distancing of employees and the general public,” Sandherr wrote. “AGC thinks the White Home can engage in a constructive purpose in mitigating this developing danger.”

Dive Insight:

Over the past year, softwood lumber prices have spiked 73%, according to the Producer Selling price Index. In 2017, previous President Donald Trump implemented tariffs of up to 24% on softwood lumber imports from Canada, a variable contractors say is still impacting lumber price ranges.

With its get in touch with to emphasis on a new deal with Canada, Sandherr’s letter seemed to be aimed at mitigating the impacts of these tariffs now, as Biden has used considerably of his to start with month in office unraveling Trump’s legacy by means of executive orders. 

“While lumber is in some cases viewed as a item that is vital only in solitary-family household design and transforming, in fact lumber and other wooden items are used in each form of making building,” Sandherr wrote. “The volatility of lumber rates and the impossibility of pinning down long term delivery dates is earning it really tough for contractors to give bid selling prices or completion instances for upcoming tasks.”

But cost improves for contractors have not just been minimal to lumber. Iron and steel scrap has surged 50.8% in the last 12 months, like a 25.8% leap from November to December, followed by another 20.6% leap from December to January, according to January’s PPI report.

Overall, the PPI for cost inputs to new nonresidential design — what contractors fork out to get a career completed — jumped 2.5%, whilst the rate contractors say they would charge for unique careers inched up just .2%.

That widening spread of expenses versus bid rates by a component of much more than 12 has alarmed field watchers.

“Left unchecked, these increasing supplies price ranges threaten to undermine the economic recovery by inflating the price of infrastructure and economic enhancement assignments,” Sandherr explained in a information launch ahead of the letter. “Widespread damage is brought on by maintaining tariffs on solutions that so lots of Us citizens need to have to boost their properties, modernize their infrastructure and revitalize their overall economy.”

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