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Data: CME; Chart: Axios Visuals

Lumber prices are rising again, but this time you can't blame the pandemic.

Why it matters: Blame climate change instead. Extreme weather in Canada drove the increase — a sign that even when the pandemic recedes supply chains are still going to be funky.

  • December was warmer than usual in many areas of the U.S., so home builders — frantically ramping up to meet demand — kept building, Stinson Dean, CEO of Deacon Lumber in Kansas City, Mo., tells Axios.
  • Meanwhile, Biblical-level flooding in British Columbia derailed supply from up north and messed up the rail lines that typically deliver lumber.

"When folks in the industry saw rail lines were destroyed...everyone panicked and started buying what they could get their hands on," Dean said.

Flashback: Rising lumber prices became something of a poster child for the high inflation economy last spring. Increased demand for houses and home renovations collided with low supply, thanks to pandemic-idled sawmills — other supply chain snarls didn't help either.

  • When the price receded in June, Fed chair Jerome Powell pointed to it as a sign that high inflation would "start to abate" — a comment that in hindsight was too hopeful.

Go deeper

Rising mortgage rates could slow house price surge

Chart: Axios Visuals

Mortgage rates have jumped to their highest level since early 2020.

Why it matters: The rising cost of home loans could slow the booming American market for residential real estate.

FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly COVID antibody treatments

A coldbox containing monoclonal antibody treatments at a Regeneron clinic in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in August. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The FDA said Monday it's limiting the use of two monoclonal antibody therapies as COVID-19 treatments because data indicates they're "highly unlikely" to be effective against the dominant Omicron variant.

Driving the news: The FDA revised the authorizations for Regeneron and Eli Lilly "to limit their use to only when the patient is likely to have been infected with or exposed to a variant that is susceptible to these treatments," per a statement from the agency.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.