N. American lumber prices surge again as wildfires hit production

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US lumber futures rose the most in more than a year on concerns that wildfires in western Canada will reduce supply and spur more curtailments at sawmills. Lumber futures jumped more than 7% in Chicago at the end of July.

Rail transportation in British Columbia has been hindered since a June 30 fire damaged the tracks of the two main railways that carry goods to Vancouver for export causing congestion at the port.

Lines have since been repaired but rail movement has been slow and sporadically halted due to fires. British Columbia declared a state of emergency and Canfor Corp. said it would trim output as the fires snarl transportation and supply chains.

The rebound in prices extends wild gyrations that took lumber prices from a record high in May on a pandemicfueled construction boom to an eight-month low in midJuly after demand eased and supply was replenished.

British Columbia is Canada’s biggest exporter of lumber to the US.

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