Economy of pandemic whipsawing NC logging and sawmill industries

Logging and sawmill operations across North Carolina are struggling to adjust to a destabilized lumber market caused by rapid swings in supply and demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sawmills shut down in the early months of the pandemic, leading to a rise in lumber prices. Leaders at the sawmills expected a decrease in demand. Instead, home renovations and construction took off quickly, exhausting available supplies. 

Despite drastic increases in lumber prices across the country, not everyone in the supply chain benefited. 

Loggers, for instance, said they have seen very little if any financial gain. Instead, many of them are facing financial difficulties caused by a shortage of truck drivers, stagnant prices from sawmills and increased maintenance costs.

Loggers keep logging with no increase

“Lumber prices are way up,” said Jonzi Guill, Carolina Loggers Association communications director. “The bad thing is that it has…

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