(WSJ) – The frenzied climb in lumber prices is generating superlative profits for sawmill owners. Homebuyers, renters, and do-it-yourselfers are footing the bill. Wood prices pushed further into record territory, a sign that Weyerhaeuser Co., Canfor Corp. and other sawmill owners are in line for even fatter profits than the record earnings they have been reporting for the first three months of 2021.

These companies have emerged as the biggest beneficiaries of the wood boom. They are feasting on a glut of cheap pine trees in the U.S. South while their finished products like lumber and plywood are flying off hardware-store shelves and being bid up by home builders.

Lumber futures delivery later this month ended Monday at $1,575.60 per thousand board feet, a record and more than four times the typical price this time of year. Futures rose by the daily maximum allowed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange during nine of April’s 21 trading sessions.

Exchange rules remove daily trading thresholds during the month in which a futures contract expires, which means May futures have no limit to how high they may rise before the 15th when the bets are settled. On Monday, May futures shot up $75.60, the most ever in a single day. FULL REPORT


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