THE WALLSTREET JOURNAL — The hottest commodity in the U.S. these days is wood.

Prices for forest products like lumber and plywood have soared because of booming demand from home builders making up for lost time, a DIY explosion sparked by stay-at-home orders and a race among restaurants and bars to install outdoor seating areas. Lumber futures are up more than 85% since April 1, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Lumber for July delivery settled Thursday at $499 per thousand board feet while the more heavily traded September futures ended at $481.90. Both are above the pre-pandemic high of $463.00, set during the hottest home-building market since 2006. Lumber futures seldom trade above $450. …Harvard University’s closely followed forecast of home-renovation spending predicted a slowdown in a market that for years has been a bright spot in the economy. But the model couldn’t have predicted a pandemic that kept Americans at home for months. Mill orders backed Up.

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