Special Update – February 24, 2021
We felt the need to address and clarify the ongoing situation regarding engineered wood in our industry in a special communication. Currently all manufacturers and distributors of I-joists, LVL and rim board are on strict allocation. In an attempt to treat all customers fairly, distributors have committed to supplying dealers at levels equal to 2020 purchase volume. With the housing market showing no signs of slowing, this is in no way going to satisfy everyone and we all are going to struggle with supply for the foreseeable future. Bear in mind, this commitment from distributors is made with the assumption that manufacturers will be able to produce at least as much as they did last year. Big C Lumber will continue to do our best to supply all of our customers at 2020 levels at the very minimum by taking steps to ensure we are managing our inventory as efficiently as possible. To further complicate matters on the supply side, it has been confirmed that Louisiana Pacific, the second largest producer of EWP in North America, is looking at getting out of the EWP business altogether. It has yet to be determined whether this will have any impact on supply in the near-term as a swift exit from the market is not something that is likely happen overnight, but we will keep you in the know as we see how this development will affect the overall situation.
As distressing as the situation is with supply, the news on pricing is equally as concerning. Big C has received communications from various suppliers that they are forced to take their prices up immediately. This is in response to the manufacturers taking this action. Percentage increase announcements have ranged from 10% on the low end all the way up to 60%. We are forced to respond to this situation as well. We are still determining those levels but are doing everything we can to mitigate the effects on your bottom line.
We will continue to keep you in the know as the fog lifts from the 2021 EWP landscape, but meanwhile we urge you to exercise extreme vigilance when it comes to your job costs. Our primary objective is to get everyone through these times as best we can.