According to Fortune’s new article lumber prices are up 188% due to the pandemic and quarantining do-it-yourselfers renovating their homes. There is a difference, however, in the softwood and hardwood industry. The softwood lumber shortage of pine, douglas fir and cedar is due to the increase in the demand for lumber materials and the increased supply and delivery time of mills. The hardwood lumber market prices are impacted by taxation of products coming from China. Hardwood mills based in the US send the lumber to China for furniture production which afterwards are shipped back to the US. But when does this end and how can you keep having access to lumber even during these times?
Hardwood supplies from a global lumber supplier
Hardwood supplies can be met if the supplier you work with has supply operations on a global level. Most hardwood lumber comes from small family-owned mills in the US that only have wood sourced locally. Due to the increased tariffs and COVID-19, they are struggling to stay in business.
A global company on the other hand who has mills both in the US and Europe will be able to meet your demand of hardwood lumber even during these unprecedented times.
A special type of hardwood: Black Locust Lumber
There is an increasing concern over tropical hardwood’s sustainability and both architects and homeowners working on their residential projects are looking for a more environmental type of hardwood. Though tropical hardwoods are long-lasting, the chemicals and toxic materials used to maintain their beauty have a severe impact on the environment. The risk of illegal activities connected to logging are also a cause of concern.
More and more people are turning to Black Locust, a.k.a Robinia pseudoacacia a wood type domestic to the central-eastern parts of the United States but it is also widely naturalized in many other areas worldwide by now, especially in Europe. Making it a hardwood type that is less affected by the lumber shortage in the US.
Black Locust wood is reported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being a species of least concern in terms of sustainability. Its durability is competing with that of Hickory, with a Janka Hardness of 1,700 lbf (7,560 N). In the olden days, Black Locust Lumber was the number one wood choice of the settlers, who used this hardwood to build fence posts, houses and even ships. They knew that if they used Black Locust, it would endure the test of time and last for even 50+ years.
Picking a global lumber supplier
By now you probably understand the advantage of working with a global lumber supplier, who has mills and supply operations worldwide. We at Black Locust Lumber have operations both in the US and Europe. Our sawmills are operating in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania as well and we can meet your hardwood lumber needs without having to ship products to China for manufacturing.
We have decades of experience in the lumber industry and our very own local design portfolio that includes Decking and Boardwalks, Site Furnishings, RainScreens & Brise Soleil and ProFlow Permeable Pavers™. We are proud to have worked on incredible architectural design projects for Facebook Headquarters, Menlo Park, California or the Dorchester Square Park in Montréal, Québec and supplied Black Locust Lumber products to their specific needs.
It is forecasted that lumber prices might start recovering to their original range at the end of the year, but we understand some projects cannot wait until then. Until then it is advised to cooperate with a global supplier who has mills across the globe and can meet hardwood lumber needs in these challenging times.