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Lumber: A Lull after an Exceptional Year

December 18, 2018
François Dupuis, Vice-President and Chief Economist
Mathieu D’Anjou, Deputy Chief Economist • Joëlle Noreau, Senior Economist

Lumber is often a topic of conversation, and for good reason: sawmills are peppered throughout Quebec and are the economic backbone of roughly 200 communities. Even though local producers are at the ill-humoured trade whims of the Americans, the industry had a good run in 2017 and in the first half of 2018. The year just ended was exceptional owing mainly to the dizzying rise in lumber prices and their dramatic fall in just a few months. This was caused by an unusual combination of factors. While things have not changed completely, it would be surprising for 2019 to be much like the past year. Nonetheless, the elements impacting the market can change quickly, which will keep those with an interest in lumber on their toes.

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