Supply concerns as a result of those closures helped bring about an unexpected boost for lumber prices, which had slumped from the beginning of the year but began to tick back upwards as production timescales were pushed further back.
Russ Taylor (pictured top), a wood market expert based in BC, told Canadian Mortgage Professional that the blazes had spurred demand because of uncertainty over how availability would be affected by the shutdowns.
That was by no means a sudden development, with the fires raging for several weeks before the market began to fully grasp their possible implications.
“We had forest fires in early May, early June and they didn’t move the needle,” he said. “And I think that’s when the smoke finally got into the eastern seaboard and New York City, and all of a sudden, everyone’s well aware of all this smoke and the forest fires in Canada. I think that’s kind of helped rally the market more than anything else.”
A slower market received an unexpected shot in the arm because purchasers decided to buy now rather than “chance it that it could get scarce and then more expensive,” Taylor said.