Pressure-Treated Lumber

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Building Materials

This study analyzes US demand for pressure-treated lumber by application:

  • landscaping and outdoor
    • decking
    • fencing
    • outdoor structures (e.g., gazebo, pergolas, sheds)
    • porches and patios
    • other landscaping and outdoor applications (e.g., landscape walls, planter boxes playground equipment, railroad ties, shakes and shingles, utility and light poles)
  • structural and framing
    • wall framing
    • structural floors and foundations

Pressure-treated lumber consists of softwood lumber that is subjected to high-pressure and high-temperature conditions and chemical treatments to create wood that:

  • has a lower moisture content, making it less susceptible to freeze/thaw cracking
  • is more dense than untreated lumber, imparting enhanced structural strength and durability
  • is highly resistant to insect, fungal, and chemical attack
  • burns more slowly than untreated lumber (if treated against fire)

Historical data (2010, 2015, and 2020) and forecasts for 2025 and 2030 are presented for pressure-treated lumber supply and demand in board feet and total demand in dollars (including inflation). Demand in value terms is measured at the manufacturers’ level and excludes distributor and retailer markups.

This report also discusses trends in wood preservative consumption and leading companies in the pressure-treated lumber industry.

Also analyzed are pressure-treated lumber shipments, imports, and exports, and demand by major US region.

Among the products excluded from the scope of this study are marine pilings, railway ties, and utility poles and crossarms.

Building Materials

Supply & Demand

Shipments of pressure-treated lumber are expected to rise 1.2% annually to 14.9 billion board feet in 2025, matching anticipated increases in US product demand. Gains will be supported by:

  • ongoing growth in domestic demand for pressure-treated lumber, which will encourage US sawmills to expand production capacity at existing facilities and erect new mills to process timber
  • the continuance of tariffs levied against lumber imported from Canada that will make US-made lumber more cost competitive with foreign-sourced lumber

The US has seen a contraction in lumber production capacity over the past decade. This lack of production capacity became evident in 2020, when US pressure-treated lumber prices rose dramatically. While growers had plenty of timber available for processing, US sawmills were operating at nearly full capacity and could not convert this timber into lumber. Although some industry participants plan on adding new mills to boost supply, there are a number of impediments to these plans, such as:

  • the high cost of building new sawmills and finding well-trained staff to run them
  • industry concerns about oversupply in case of another market contraction
  • concerns among sawmill operators that adding production capacity would depress pressure-treated lumber prices over the long term

However, in 2021, a number of firms announced plans to either expand production capacity at existing sawmills, and, in some cases, construct new sawmills. Most of this activity is occurring in the South, where extensive stocks of rapid-growth Southern yellow pine are located. While these expansions will not provide immediate relief to pressure-treated lumber prices, they will in time boost overall US production capacity.

The US is a net importer of pressure-treated lumber, although imports for this lumber product account for an extremely small share of US demand. Most imports are from Canada.

Regional Trends

US demand for pressure-treated lumber is forecast to advance at an annual average rate of 1.2% to 15.0 billion board feet in 2025. Increases in pressure-treated lumber use will be supported by continuing interest in home improvement.

The West is the leading regional market for pressure-treated lumber due to its more intensive use of fire-resistant pressure-treated lumber due to the ongoing threat of wildfires in many parts of the region. The West is expected to post the largest gains in volume terms through 2025, with growth supported by the region’s increasing population, which will boost construction of new residences and improvement and repair spending for existing homes.

The South was the second largest regional market for pressure-treated lumber and is expected to account for one-third of all demand growth through 2025, bolstered by:

  • elevated levels of new building construction
  • susceptibility to severe weather events that can cause damage to buildings and outdoor structures across a wide area, promoting rebuilding activity

One of the key factors driving use of pressure-treated lumber in a particular part of the US is the traditional use of the wood in construction projects. For instance, the Pacific Northwest and New England have a long tradition of using wood as a building material due to the ready availability of timber; thus, pressure-treated lumber is more frequently used in construction projects in those areas.

In contrast, due to the paucity of timber in the Southwestern US, much of the architecture in the region is made from such materials as clay brick and tile, concrete, and stucco. Hence, pressure-treated lumber is used less often in that part of the nation.

Building Materials

Competitive Products

Pressure-treated lumber products compete with a wide range of other building materials, including:

  • concrete (both poured and precast)
  • engineered wood products such as oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood
  • metal
  • untreated lumber
  • wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber

While competition among the various materials is based largely on price and performance requirements, end users consider a number of other factors when determining which material to use in a given application. These considerations include weather resistance, maintenance needs, technological feasibility (e.g., weight), and regulatory requirements.

Pressure-treated lumber is valued for its favorable aesthetics, low cost, ease of handling, wide availability, and contractor familiarity, and is commonly used in decking, fencing, outdoor structures such as gazebos and pergolas, playground equipment, railroad ties, and utility and light poles. Pressure-treated lumber also sees some use in structural and framing applications.

In landscaping and outdoor applications, which account for 97% of all pressure-treated lumber demand, the material is projected to lose market share to non-wood materials through 2025.

Building Materials

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Purchase Pressure-Treated Lumber by the Section

  1. Pressure-Treated Lumber

    $2,900.00

    1. 1 Executive Summary

      $323.00

      1. Figure 1-1 | Pressure-Treated Lumber Market

    2. 2 About This Report

      $402.00

      1. 2.1 Report Details

        $323.00

      2. 2.2 Study Scope & Product Description

        $323.00

      3. 2.3 Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

        $323.00

        1. Table | Annual Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand, 2019 - 2021

        2. Figure 2-1 | Annual Pressure-Treated Lumber Volume Demand Growth, 2018 - 2023

    3. 3 Overview

      $1,630.00

      1. 3.1 Historical Market Trends

        $323.00

        1. Table | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand, 2010 - 2020

        2. Figure 3-1 | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand, 2000 - 2020

      2. 3.2 Supply & Demand

        $323.00

        1. Table | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand Supply & Demand, 2010 - 2030

      3. 3.3 Regional Trends

        $323.00

        1. Table | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand by Region, 2010 - 2030

        2. Figure 3-2 | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand by Region, 2010 - 2030

      4. 3.4 Pricing Trends

        $323.00

        1. Figure 3-3 | Pressure-Treated Lumber Pricing, 2010 - 2025

      5. 3.5 Competitive Products

        $323.00

        1. Figure 3-4 | Comparative Growth: Pressure-Treated Lumber & Competitive Products, 2020 - 2025

      6. 3.6 Regulations

        $323.00

      7. 3.7 Sustainability Initiatives

        $323.00

        1. 3.7.1 Forest Management

          $323.00

        2. 3.7.2 Recycling & Recycled Content

          $323.00

        3. 3.7.3 Treatment Chemicals

          $323.00

      8. 3.8 Above-Ground vs. Ground-Contact Products

        $323.00

      9. 3.9 Treatment Chemical Trends

        $360.00

        1. Table | Wood Preservatives Consumption by Product Type, 2010 - 2030

        2. Figure 3-5 | Wood Preservatives Consumption by Product Type, 2010 - 2030

    4. 4 Applications

      $590.00

      1. 4.1 Demand by Application

        $323.00

        1. Table | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand by Application, 2010 - 2030

        2. Figure 4-1 | Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand by Application, 2010 - 2030

      2. 4.2 Landscaping & Outdoor

        $323.00

        1. Table | Landscaping & Outdoor Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand by Application, 2010 - 2030

      3. 4.3 Structural & Framing

        $323.00

        1. Table | Structural & Framing Pressure-Treated Lumber Demand by Application, 2010 - 2030

    5. 5 Key Suppliers & Market Share

      $791.00

      1. 5.1 Industry Composition

        $323.00

      2. 5.2 Market Share

        $474.00

        1. Figure 5-1 | Pressure-Treated Lumber Market Share by Company, 2020

        2. Figure 5-2 | Pressure-Treated Lumber: Leading Supplier, 2020

        3. Figure 5-3 | Pressure-Treated Lumber: Second Leading Supplier, 2020

        4. Figure 5-4 | Pressure-Treated Lumber: Third Leading Supplier, 2020

        5. Figure 5-5 | Pressure-Treated Lumber: Fourth Leading Supplier, 2020

      3. 5.3 Mergers & Acquisitions

        $323.00

        1. Table | Selected Mergers & Acquisitions

    6. 6 Appendix

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      1. 6.1 Scope

        $568.00

        1. Table | Study Scope: US Geographic Regions & Subregions

        2. Table | Relevant Industry Codes

        3. Table | Relevant HS Codes

      2. 6.2 Definitions

        $323.00

      3. 6.3 Freedonia Methodology

        $840.00

      4. 6.4 Study-Specific Methodology

        $323.00

      5. 6.5 Sources

        $323.00

      6. 6.6 Associations & Agencies

        $323.00

      7. 6.7 Related Studies & Reports

        $323.00

      8. 6.8 Macroeconomic Assumptions

        $2,918.00

        1. 6.8.1 Economic Environment

          $346.00

          1. Table | Macroeconomic Indicators, 2010 - 2030

        2. 6.8.2 Demographic Trends

          $338.00

          1. Table | Population & Households, 2010 - 2030

        3. 6.8.3 Consumer Spending

          $360.00

          1. Table | Personal Consumption Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        4. 6.8.4 Consumer Financing

          $323.00

          1. Table | Consumer Financing Environment, 2010 - 2020

        5. 6.8.5 Building Construction

          $323.00

          1. Table | Building Construction Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        6. 6.8.6 Residential Building Construction

          $323.00

          1. Table | Residential Building Construction Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        7. 6.8.7 New Housing

          $323.00

          1. Table | New Housing Indicators, 2010 - 2030

        8. 6.8.8 Housing Stock

          $323.00

          1. Table | Housing Stock by Type, 2010 - 2030

        9. 6.8.9 Residential Improvements & Repairs

          $323.00

          1. Table | Residential Improvement & Repair Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        10. 6.8.10 Commercial Building Construction

          $323.00

          1. Table | Commercial Building Construction Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        11. 6.8.11 Commercial Building Stock

          $323.00

          1. Table | Commercial Building Stock by Type, 2010 - 2030

        12. 6.8.12 Commercial Improvements & Repairs

          $323.00

          1. Table | Commercial Building Improvement & Repair Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        13. 6.8.13 Nonbuilding Construction Expenditures

          $323.00

          1. Table | Nonbuilding Construction Expenditures, 2010 - 2030

        14. 6.8.14 Manufacturers' Shipments

          $1,395.00

          1. Table | Manufacturers' Shipments, 2010 - 2030

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