Coronavirus: Industry & Market News
See updates, news, and market information below.
How the lumber industry misread COVID-19 and ended up with a global shortage and sky-high prices
NBC News, June 29, 2021. How the lumber industry misread Covid and ended up with a global shortage and sky-high prices
Ten COVID-19 logistics lessons for construction firms
Construction Dive, June 21, 2021. 10 COVID-19 logistics lessons for construction firms
COVID-19 update on housing: Shifts, risks, and opportunities
Builder, July 1, 2021. COVID-19 Update: Shifts, Risks, and Opportunities
What we need to know about millennial home buyers in the COVID-19 era
Builder, June 8, 2021. Millennial Home Buyers in the COVID-19 Era
Don’t blame COVID: Soaring lumber costs were decades in the making
Fox Business, June 10, 2021. Rep. Bruce Westerman: Don't blame COVID -- soaring lumber costs hammering Americans were decades in the making
Road construction accidents increase even as COVID-19 keeps drivers off the roads
Construction Dive, June 15, 2021. Road construction accidents increase even as COVID-19 keeps drivers away
OSHA: Employers can relax COVID-19 protections in fully vaccinated workplaces
Construction Dive, June 14, 2021. OSHA: Employers may relax COVID-19 measures in fully vaccinated workplaces
22 states end federal COVID-19 unemployment benefits
Construction Dive, May 24, 2021. 22 states to end federal COVID-19 unemployment benefits
COVID-19 school construction delays lead to prolonged overcrowding
nypost.com, May 22, 2021. COVID-19 school construction delays lead to prolonged overcrowding
COVID-19 cost NYC construction industry $9.8 billion
Construction Dive, June 2, 2021. Report: COVID-19 cost NYC construction industry $9.8 billion
How the pandemic turned lumber into a hot commodity
financialpost.com, May 21,2021. How the pandemic turned lumber into a hot commodity
How the world has failed to curb COVID-19
Nature, May 12, 2021. How the world failed to curb COVID
Pandemic increases demand for multigenerational living
The Washington Post and Builder, May 17, 2021. Pandemic Creates Increased Demand for Multigenerational Living
A Canadian timber company is paying its workers to get vaccinated
Cambridge Times.ca, May 7, 2021. This Canadian company is paying its workers to get vaccinated
UN report: COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges of managing forests
downtoearth.org, April 28, 2021. COVID-19 has aggravated challenges to manage forests: UN Report
COVID-19 fuels desire for homeownership
NAHB Eye on Housing, April 26, 2021. COVID-19 Continues to Fuel Desire for Homeownership
Amid COVID-19 surge, Michigan extends emergency rules
Construction Dive, April 26, 2021. Amid COVID-19 surge, Michigan extends emergency rules
Construction associations urge workers to get vaccinated
Wood Floor Business, April 19, 2021. Construction Associations Promote COVID-19 Vaccine to Workers
Scientists identify the human genes that fight COVID-19 infection
ScienceDaily, April 16, 2021. COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection
PPE may save human lives, but it's deadly for wildlife
EcoWatch, April 24, 2021. PPE May Save Human Lives, But It’s Deadly for Wildlife
Wood production hits 13-year high - but lumber prices are still up 171% since the start of the pandemic
Yahoo Finance, March 31, 2021. Wood production hits 13-year high—but lumber prices are still up 171% since COVID started.
Experts say: "The economy is coming back to life."
Builder, March 25, 2021. COVID-19 Update: 'The Economy Is Coming Back to Life'
Harvard study shows how the pandemic boosted the home improvement industry
LBM Journal, March 25, 2021. Harvard study shows how pandemic boosted home improvement industry
U.S. government urged to address soaring lumber prices
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) lobbies the Biden administration urging immediate action to address lumber prices and supply shortages that are harming homebuilders. NAHB/Fordaq, March 22, 2021. US: NAHB urges government to find remedies for skyrocketing lumber prices
The pandemic ignited a housing boom, but it's different
The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2021. The Pandemic Ignited a Housing Boom—but It’s Different From the Last One
5 charts summarize a year of COVID-19 in the construction industry
Construction Dive, March 15, 2021. 5 charts that summarize a year of COVID-19 in construction
COVID-19 update: The U.S. economy is back in growth mode, experts say
Builder, February 25, 2021. COVID-19 Update: Economy 'Back in Growth Mode'
How the COVID-19 vaccine may help spur the residential real estate market
Builder, February 26, 2021. How the COVID Vaccine Could Help Spur the Upcoming Home Shopping Season
Most small businesses won't require employees to get vaccinated
woodworkingnetwork.com, March 4, 2021. Most small businesses are not requiring their employees get vaccine
U.S. housing market appears immune to the COVID-19 pandemic
Reuters Poll, kfgo.com, February 1, 2021. U.S. housing market immune to COVID-19 pandemic: Reuters poll
HUD extends COVID-19 forbearance for FHA loans
housingwire.com, February 16, 2021. HUD extends COVID-19 forbearance for FHA loans
Emergency relief package includes $200 million to help loggers weather the economic crisis
thecounty.me, February 6, 2021. $200 million to help loggers facing COVID-19 economic crisis
OSHA revises COVID-19 workplace guidelines
Wood Floor Business, February 3, 2021. OSHA Revises COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines
Post-pandemic rebound predicted for 2021
kitchenbathdesign.com, February 2021. Post-Pandemic Rebound Seen in 2021
2021 wood products global market report: expect growth
GlobeNewswire.com, January 21, 2021. Wood Products Global Market Report 2021: COVID 19 Impact and Recovery to 2030
How COVID-19 has impacted wood consumption in the Pacific Northwest
FOREST2MARKET, January 18, 2021. How Has COVID-19 Impacted Wood Consumption in the PNW?
The effect of COVID-19 on office, hotel, and mixed-use design
Construction Dive, January 25, 2021. Post-pandemic: How COVID-19 will change office, hotel and mixed-use design
COVID-19 continues to influence home buying plans
NAHB Eye on Housing, January 26, 2021. COVID-19 Continues to Impact Home Purchasing Plans
Could spiking COVID-19 numbers derail home construction?
mpamag, January 14, 2021. Could spiking COVID-19 numbers derail home construction?
Consumer confidence in housing falls as COVID-19 surges
finance,yahoo.com, January 7, 2021. Consumer Confidence in Housing Falls Again as COVID-19 Pandemic Surges
Ontario wood product manufacturers are eligible for COVID-19 safety funds
woodworkingnetwork.com, January 13, 2021. Ontario wood product manufacturers eligible for COVID-19 safety funds
Omega Cabinetry employees express concerns about COVID-19 safety
woodworkingnetwork.com, January 4, 2021. Employees express COVID safety concerns at Omega Cabinetry
Study: Construction Has the Highest COVID-19 Rate of Nearly Any Industry.
December 15, 2020. Study: Construction has the highest COVID-19 rate of nearly any industry
How the Pandemic Impacted Rainforests in 2020.
December 28, 2020. How the Pandemic Impacted Rainforests in 2020
COVID-19 Has Impacted the Production of Wooden Products.
Contractors Brace for More Lockdowns as Coronavirus Cases Spike Nationwide.
Study Shows Benefits of Wooden Surfaces in Fight Against Spread of Coronavirus.
Construction’s COVID-19 Record Might be Worse Than You Think.
November 19, 2020. Construction’s COVID-19 Record Might be Worse Than You Think
American Timber Industry Crippled by Double Whammy of Trade War and COVID-19.
November 17, 2020. American Timber Industry Crippled by Double Whammy of Trade War and COVID-19
Research Shows Contact with Nature Supporting People through COVID-19.
November 27, 2020. Research Shows Contact with Nature Supporting People through COVID-19
Updated Survey Charts Pandemic Impact on Woodworking Industry
An October survey reported the following results of the impact of COVID-19 on the woodworking industry: major impact, 21.3%; serious but not major impact, 34.7%; only a mild impact, 34.7%; and no impact at all, 9.3%. November 5, 2020. Updated Survey Charts Pandemic Impact on Woodworking Industry
Four Pandemic-Related Housing Trends With Staying Power.
November 4, 2020. Four Pandemic-Related Housing Trends With Staying Power
COVID-19 Pandemic Spurs Changes in Real Estate Industry.
October 30, 2020. COVID-19 Pandemic Spurs Changes in Real Estate Industry
AEI New Book: COVID-19 and World Order.
November 13, 2020. AEI New Book: COVID-19 and World Order
Millions of Small Businesses Await PPP Loan Forgiveness
November 9, 2020. Millions of Small Businesses Await PPP Loan Forgiveness
13 Graphs Show U.S. and Canadian Housing Starts Shrug off Pandemic
canada.constructconnect.com, October 27, 2020. 13 Graphs Show U.S. and Canadian Housing Starts Shrug Off Pandemic
Second Wave of COVID-19 Impacts Construction, and the Results Aren’t Good
Construction Dive, October 29, 2020. Second Wave of COVID-19 Impacts Construction, and the Results Aren’t Good
Will the COVID Pandemic Cause a Suburban Shift?
Builder, October 8, 2020. Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause a Suburban Shift?
How Companies Can Get Employees Back to Work Safely
woodworkingnetwork.com, October 9, 2020. How companies can get employees back to the workplace safely
Fate of Oregon’s Timber Industry Hangs in the Balance
It has been a 1-2 punch in 2020 for the Oregon forestry industry. The coronavirus pandemic struck first disrupting logging, sustainable forestry and furniture making, and closing retail outlets. Then came the worst fires in a century. According to the Department of Forestry about 1 million acres of Oregon forestland have burned so far in 2020. Washington Post, September 2020. Fate of Oregon’s Timber Industry Hangs in the Balance
Loggers Seek Federal COVID-19 Funding.
woodworkingnetwork.com, September 21, 2020. Loggers seek federal COVID-19 funding
Impact of COVID-19 on the Worldwide Finished Wood Products Market to 2027.
ca.finance.yahoo.com, September 17, 2020. Worldwide Finished Wood Products Industry to 2027 - Impact of COVID-19 on the Market
Impact of COVID-19 on America’s Forest Supply Chain.
Global Wood, September 9, 2020. Impact of Covid 19 on America's forest supply chain
60% of Virus-Related Business Closures Are Now Permanent.
woodworkingnetwork.com, September 17, 2020. Yelp: 60 percent of virus-related business closures are now permanent
COVID-19 Complicates California’s Record Setting Wildfire Season.
thehill.com, September 12, 2020. COVID-19 complicates California's record-setting wildfire season
Global Deforestation Accelerates During Pandemic.
Financial Times, August 7, 2020. Global deforestation accelerates during pandemic
WFCA Recommends Keeping this Spring’s Covid Rules for 2021 Planting,
Forest Destruction Spiked in Indonesia During Coronavirus Lockdown
Forest loss in Indonesia rose 50% in the first 20 weeks of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data developed by the University of Maryland. Meanwhile a government bill to restart the economy would axe several environmental protections, raising fears of further deforestation. August 18, 2020. Forest destruction spiked in Indonesia during coronavirus lockdown
OPINION: The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating global deforestation,
Ashley Furniture Workers Protest COVID Working Conditions
North America’s largest furniture manufacturer is facing protest from workers at the Berks County, Pennsylvania plant. Workers say they aren’t informed when their coworkers contract COVID, and that they’re reprimanded for taking time off. woodworkingnetwork.com, August 20, 2020. Ashley Furniture workers protest COVID working conditions
Loggers Impacted by Pandemic
A recent analysis generated for the American Loggers Council (ALC) shows that this year’s decrease in raw wood material consumption has led to a $1.83 billion reduction in the value of logger/trucker delivered wood. Raw wood material consumption in the first six months of 2020 was 6.7% less than the same period of 2019. prweb.com, September 1, 2020. Save Our Loggers: Report Shows 1.83 Billion Impact Of Covid-19 To Loggers
Survey Finds Project Delays Worsening for Construction
A new survey by the Associated General Contractors (AGS) has found that future projects canceled or delayed due to COVID-19 has reached 60%, nearly double the amount from June.
High-End Second-Home Sales Surge, August 6, 2020. As COVID-19 Continues, High-End Second-Home Sales Are on the Rise
NAHB Seeks White House Action on Soaring COVID-19 Lumber Prices. NAHB Now, August 13, 2020. NAHB Seeks White House Action on Soaring Lumber Prices
Office of Inspector General Warns About Fraud
The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times. Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.
Home Purchase Plans Little Changed by Pandemic
The share of Americans who are considering the purchase of a home in the next 12 months was essentially flat (11%) compared with the same quarter of 2019 (12%). The share of prospective first-time buyers is the same in the second quarter of 2020 (59%) as it was a year earlier (58%). July 22, 2020. Home Purchase Plans Little #5FC
Lumber Wins, Paper Loses In Work-From-Home Trend (Toilet Paper Notwithstanding)
As shut-in Americans build decks and fences, lumber benefits. However, office closures are devastating the paper industry. Bloomberg, July 30, 2020. https://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/workfromhome-trend-makes-lumber-a-winner-paper-a-loser-2247609
Cities Crack Down on COVID-19 Jobsite Violations
As the pandemic surges in some parts of the country, jurisdictions are cracking down on jobsite violations related to social distancing, handwashing and other precautions. For example, the city of Austin said it would take employers to court if they have several violations of the city’s emergency rules and will issue fines up to $2,000. Construction Dive, July 21, 2020. Cities, OSHA crack down on #8E1
China and COVID-19
China’s construction and investments around the world plunged in the first half of 2020. The Belt and Road initiative is becoming more important, primarily because rich countries are now more hostile to Chinese entities. American Enterprise Institute, July 2020. China’s global investment v#45E
Monthly Percentage Changes in Manufacturing Production
U.S. Chamber Coronavirus Relief Priorities
Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a letter, available here, sent to President Trump, House Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell highlighting key areas for Coronavirus pandemic relief important to their membership. The letter highlights 16 pages of expansive recommendations related to these five key areas as well as an appendix of further information.
The letter focuses on five key priorities:
- Liability Protection Against Unwarranted Lawsuits;
- Support for Small and Midsize Employers;
- Support for Childcare and K-12 Schools;
- Unemployment and Job Training, and
- State and Local Assistance
President Signs PPP Extension, http://nahbnow.com/2020/07/congress-extends-ppp-through-aug-8/
Hardwood Industry Proposes Pandemic Relief Policies to Senate
The Hardwood Federation has proposed various relief policies to the Senate in a letter written to Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. The proposals include extended liability protections to businesses bringing workers back to work, reversing the decision to limit Economic Injury Disaster Loans to $150,000, extending sustainable tax credits, and increasing government purchases of U.S. wood products.
woodworkingnetwork.com, June 15, 2020. Hardwood industry proposes #39F
NBMDA Distributors See Business Decline During Pandemic
According to a survey taken by the North American Building Materials Distribution Association, about half of responders indicated the impact of the virus was about what they expected and about 37% saw a 20 to 30% decline in business during the March-April time frame. Participating manufacturers included Columbia Forest Products and Roseburg Forest Products.
woodworkingnetwork.com, June 19, 2020. NBMDA distributors see busi#3A1
A “Hot Spot” for COVID Cases Said to be Among Flooring Workers
Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia said that the hot spot cases in Dalton, Georgia appear to be tied to workers in the flooring industry. Georgia has been averaging 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 per day for the past two weeks according to the Charlotte Observer.
Wood Floor Business, June 29, 2020. Governor- Dalton Flooring W#3A2
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Extend Forbearance for Multifamily Property Owners, http://nahbnow.com/2020/06/fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-extend-forbearance-for-multifamily-property-owners/
Hardwood Federation issues COVID-19 related policy proposals; Suggestions aim to help an industry reeling from effects of global pandemic, https://www.furnituretoday.com/furniture-manufacturing/hardwood-federation-issues-covid-19-related-policy-proposals/
PPP Extension Signed into Law
As expected, on June 5th President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPFA), which extends and expands the previous Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Thus far the Small Business Administration (SBA) has worked with more than 5,000 lenders to approve 4.5 million loans totaling $510.2 billion of the program’s $659 billion in total lending authority as of May 30.
HF Issue Update: PPP Extension Signed into Law, https://www.hmamembers.org/industry-knowledge/covid-19/hf-issue-update-ppp-extension-signed-into-law/#
The “Protective Shield” Declines
Backlog, the industry’s protective shield continues to decline in every category and region. The Associated Builders and Contractors reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator fell to 7.8 months in April, the lowest reading since the 3rd quarter of 2012. The construction backlog is down 0.4 months compared to March 2020 and 1.7 months from a year ago.
Construction Dive, May 12, 2020. Backlog, the industry's 'pr#39C
China trade and COVID-19: A one-two punch hitting US hardwood producers, https://ajot.com/premium/ajot-china-trade-and-covid-19-a-one-two-punch-hitting-us-hardwood-producers
Vietnam wood products exports up by 6 percent despite pandemic, https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2020/06/01/vietnam-wood-products-exports-up-by-6-per-cent-despite-pandemic
Chamber of Commerce reopening
Chamber of Commerce state by state reopening
Data available via SBA.gov:
Summary of cumulative Paycheck Protection Program data as of 5:00 p.m. EDT, May 23, 2020.
|Approved Loans||Approved Dollars||Average Loan Size||# of Participating Lenders|
In total, the SBA guaranteed 4,426,118 Paycheck Protection Program loans through May 23, 2020. For more information on loan activity, click here.
In total, the SBA guaranteed 4,341,145 Paycheck Protection Program loans through May 16, 2020. For more information, click here.
In Round Two of the Paycheck Protection Program (April 27 - May 8, 2020), the SBA has guaranteed 2,571,167 loans. For more information, click here.
In Round Two of the Paycheck Protection Program (April 27 - May 1, 2020), the SBA has guaranteed 2,211,791 loans For more information, click here.
In Round One of the Paycheck Protection Program, (through April 16, 2020), the SBA guaranteed 1,661,367 loans. For more information, click here.
Woodworking Firms See Increasing Impact Of Coronavirus
A Woodworking Network survey confirms that the impact of the pandemic on our industry continues to grow as more companies report a major or serious impact on their business. The breakdown: 35.7% of companies report a major impact; 40.9% a serious impact; 19.1% a minor impact; and 4.3% report no impact.
Source: Woodworking Network
Listen to Daniel Durden, Executive Officer of PA Builders discuss his state's plan to allow limited construction to begin at the end of this week
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global and EU trade
All heading lower - February data shows early impact of pandemic on US wood products imports
5 Things to Know About Climate Change and Coronavirus With WHO Climate Lead Dr. Campbell-Lendrum
Live interviews with experts examining the linkages between COVID-19 and climate change
Virus cancels crucial season of managed fires
How to keep workers healthy on the job - Employers can stagger breaks, deep-clean surfaces, limit meetings and offer on-site testing. Scott Gottlieb Resident Fellow, AEI
The ‘new normal’: Thoughts about the shape of things to come in the post-pandemic world Nicholas Eberstadt and Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
Fed Will Publicize Names of Facility Participants; Impact on Ultimate Borrowers Is Unclear
The Federal Reserve Board recently announced its commitment to publicizing substantial amounts of information on its facilities and programs that use funds authorized under the CARES Act. To a large degree, this move is required under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, which as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 requires the Board to report the identities of the participants in its emergency lending programs. But the facilities established for COVID-19 relief are categorically different from those created for the 2008 financial crisis, because the participants are not the beneficiaries of the programs.
Impact of Virus on Wood Industry Will Continue Into 2021
April 8, 2020. Virus will have impact on w#C36
U.S. GDP is expected to decline by 8% in 2020 with considerable uncertainty in 2021
Housing starts will fall off, tree planting will be curtailed, and global trade in wood products will also decline. Home remodeling, however, may actually rise in certain months in both 2020 and 2021.
Virus Now Impacting Home Buying Traffic For Nearly All Builders
U.S. Housing Supply Already Sees Hit From Covid-19
Lumber And The Housing Market- A Rough Road Ahead
Kitchen Cabinet Industry Changes In Structure
There were a number of changes in the cabinet industry, with the largest casualty in May when Wood-Mode in Pennsylvania closed, affecting more than 900 employees. Wood-Mode was purchased by Professional Building Systems who reopened the plant later in the year, but with only 235 employees. Even with a great number of changes in the industry, KCMA reported that 2019 cabinet sales were up 0.6% when compared to 2018. April 7, 2020. Major FDMC 300 cabinet comp#D19
Green Building Programs Revise Inspection Procedures
As part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response, organizations such as the EPA, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and Home Innovation Research Labs (HI) are adopting emergency procedures for their green building programs to protect the health and safety of rating providers using remote inspections with video and/or photo documentation for verification and the likelihood of additional documentation. April 7, 2020. Green Building Programs Rev#B8A
Ohio building products supplier Granville Lumber permanently closes its doors after 75 years
Coronavirus Forces New Approaches to Fighting Wildfires
Despite COVID, Amazon deforestation races higher
Coronavirus reaches Amazon's isolated Yanomami tribe
Don't Look To Mature Forests To Soak Up Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Quebec Shuts Down Non-Essential Services
Quebec has shut down wood product manufacturers from March 24 until midnight April 13, 2020 considering them non-essential services.
SOURCE: Decorative Hardwoods Association, les boisés La Fleur, March 23, 2020.
New Zealand Forest Products Industry to Shut Down
The New Zealand wood processing and manufacturing industry was scheduled for a March 25, 2020 lockdown. The sector had not been classified as an essential business.
SOURCE: Global Wood Markets Info, March 25, 2020. New Zealand's lockdown forc#6D9
Australia’s Construction Industry “On Brink of Collapse”
The Australian construction industry was in serious trouble even before COVID-19. This is the sentiment of Joe Barr, CEO of John Holland, one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure firms and a wholly owned subsidiary of China Communication Construction Company.
SOURCE: Wolf Street, March 22, 2020. Australia’s Construction In#807
Plywood Industry in India District Hit as Migrants Leave
Closure of shops and other establishments because of fear over COVID-19 have led to the exodus of migrant workers from various parts of the Kerala District in India. The production of the plywood industry has been reduced to half as migrants returned to their homes.
SOURCE: The Times of India, March 24, 2020. Plywood industry hit as mig#6D6
NAHB Map Highlights Coronavirus-Related Exemptions
NAHB has produced a map that will be updated periodically that shows orders by state governments for the closure of non-essential businesses.
SOURCE: LBM Journal, March 24, 2020. NAHB map highlights COVID-1#808
Virus Survey by the Associated General Contractors (AGC)
In the first weekly survey, AGC indicated that 28% of its members’ projects have been halted or delayed. 909 AGC members responded to the first survey.
For Construction Pros, March 20, 2020. Coronavirus Halts or Delays#809