Cost of Lumber expected to rise in wake of Hurricane Sandy - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Cost of Lumber expected to rise in wake of Hurricane Sandy

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, consumers may see a spike in the cost of lumber, at least temporarily.

The price of lumber is up as residents in the northeast evaluate the devastation caused by Sandy.

According the Associated Press, lumber marked for a January delivery rose $10 on Wednesday based on expectations that demand will also pick up following the need to rebuild and repair; a process that could take months.

"It's going to take a lot of material to rebuild that area down there," said Mathew Baird of Baird Brothers Sawmill, Inc. in Canfield.

Baird said they deliver daily to the northeast region of the country, and while he doesn't expect to see an immediate upswing in demand, he does expect to see one.

"I do think that those general commodities such as ply wood and SPF softwoods and yellow pine, I do think you will see an uptick in that," Baird said.

That's an uptick local companies may already be planning for, according to the Home Builders Association of Youngstown.

The average cost of a common building material known as oriented strand board runs between $4 and $7 during the winter months. At an area Home Depot the cost is currently $11.47, up $1 since Tuesday. At Lowe's the cost is $10.49.

"Every time they name a hurricane in the Caribbean you will see minor spikes in material prices," said Bill Clipse, Treasurer of the HBA. "As far as lumber and stuff is concerned, you'll see a minor spike in prices and then the industry will be back to normal."

The reason, Clipse believes, is because the lumber industry has been suffering for so many years, hit hard by the recession. And although a disaster may temporarily spike the cost, ultimately the housing demand just isn't there.

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