There may be a building growth happening world wide, as governments look to construct themselves out of the pandemic’s financial woes.

It has pushed the value of building-related commodities by way of the roof, with timber and iron ore — which is used for making metal — hitting report costs this week.

Iron ore surged to $US228 per tonne on Tuesday, as Chinese language metal mills proceed to ramp up manufacturing.

“That is precisely $US173 a tonne greater than (Australia’s) Treasury assumed when it calculated the 2021 price range deficit final yr, so about as unsuitable as you may get,” mentioned ABC finance presenter Alan Kohler.

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Alan Kohler explains why the iron ore value has surged.

Lumber futures skyrocket

In the course of the week, lumber futures within the US broke a report, surging past $US1,700 per thousand board ft for the primary time, a meteoric rise for a commodity that was sitting under $US400 this time final yr.

The rocketing value is being pushed by America’s housing growth but in addition seems to have accelerated in current weeks as traders pile in.

Exercise on the futures market has lumber’s value chart trying extra like a cryptocurrency than wooden.


In response to the US Nationwide Affiliation of Residence Builders, the hovering lumber value might add an additional $US36,000 to the worth of constructing a median single-family house.

What about Australia?

Timber costs in Australia are additionally up this yr however for quite a lot of causes.

Impartial forestry marketing consultant Rudolf van Rensburg mentioned Australian softwood costs had elevated between 5 and 15 per cent.

“Australia faces a state of affairs the place there hasn’t been any vital enlargement of the softwood plantations because the Nineteen Nineties, so the availability from present plantations is pretty static and demand is growing with a rising inhabitants,” he mentioned.

“With lumber costs within the US being very enticing, exporters are specializing in that market … and with freight [shipping] charges very excessive, it is making the distant Australian market much less enticing.”

Mr Rensburg mentioned Australia historically imported about 20 per cent of its timber wants.

A log being processed at a sawmill.
Timber has grow to be a highly regarded commodity.(

Equipped: Timberlink Australia


The HomeBuilder impact

Chatting with ABC Information Radio final month, Grasp Builders chief govt Denita Wawn mentioned the federal authorities’s HomeBuilder Scheme had created plenty of work however had triggered “excessive pressures within the provide chain”.

“We have a [building] growth throughout your entire nation which could be very uncommon,” she mentioned.

“It is placing an enormous quantity of strain on the availability chain as entire, as not solely Australia however the world is utilizing housing to stimulate economies and there is a world-wide scarcity of key important merchandise.”

Mr Rensburg agreed HomeBuilder had “amplified” the demand for timber and that constructing prices would “clearly improve”, though “the price of timber is a comparatively small proportion of the general building prices [of a house]”.

It’s estimated that as much as 60,000 hectares of softwood plantations have been misplaced throughout the Black Summer season bushfires, which is one other issue affecting provides in Australia.


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  • United States
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  • Iron Ore
  • Constructing and Building
  • Forestry

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