How things change, and fast. Back in March, wood prices were high, hitting $1,464. By the end of April, things were a lot less clear given "so many extenuating factors going on," Mike Wisnefski, CEO of MaterialsXchange told at the time. Prices had dropped to $874 and then rose to break $1,000 again.

Now? The spot market closed at under $700 on May 27, according to data from Nasdaq and was at $679 at one point on Tuesday, according to Insider. What's going on is likely a combination of factors. One is the economics of markets.

"Historically speaking, lumber prices are elevated, trading at more than two times the 20-year median price," Josh Goodman, vice president of inventory and purchasing at Sherwood Lumber, tells "We believe that they will trade above long-term averages for the balance of the year.  However, in the short term, lumber is down more than 50% from the most recent peak.  The market is trying to determine where the new price equilibrium compared to slowing demand and increased supply." There are too many unknowns—stability of the world economy, housing starts backlogs because of slow completions, and strong building permits. "The lumber market will become oversold and under inventoried eventually which points to a significant seasonal rally mid-year to help fill the large backlog that persists now and into the end of the year."

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