Lumber prices soar in P.E.I.
September 13, 2017
Lumber prices are soaring in Prince Edward Island and across Atlantic Canada, with homebuilders and suppliers citing B.C. forest fires and tariffs on lumber exports to the U.S.
Giles Gallant, building supply manager for Home Hardware in North Rustico, PEI, said that the price of lumber is up by 25 per cent for spruce used for house framing, and 40 per cent to 60 per cent for plywood from a fee months ago. Gallant noted that the B.C. mills are major producers of plywood in Canada.
At the North Rustico store, a four-by-eight-foot, half-inch thick sheet of spruce plywood increased from $18.50 in February to $31.50. By comparison, the Kent Building Supplies in Charlottetown was selling the same type of board for $38.52 and Home Depot for $37.98.
Todd MacEwen, executive director of the Canadian Home Builders' Association of P.E.I., said that the B.C. fires and, in some cases, tariffs have reduced supply in Canada while the demand for lumber and plywood, especially on P.E.I., has remained strong due to housing construction
“That just sort of filters down through the whole country. Most of what we get in Atlantic Canada comes from Ontario and Quebec. But demand in those markets would be greater than Atlantic Canada, so they’re meeting their own demand first. And again, it comes down to a supply and demand situation,” he said.
MacEwen said the market should eventually correct itself, but lumber prices could still continue to climb over the next year or so.