Rising softwood lumber production for U.S., Canadian output drops sharply

July 19, 2019

By: The Working Forest Staff

Global Wood Markets Info — Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 4.797 bbf of the four-month total, down 1.8% from 4.883 bbf a year earlier, while production at southern U.S. sawmills increased, by 3.0% to 6.370 bbf from 6.186 bbf last year.

In April, U.S. sawmills produced 3.044 bbf, a year-over-year increase of 0.6% from 3.025 bbf, and up 7.3% from output In March 2019 of 2.836 bbf.

Western sawmills contributed 1.258 bbf to April’s total, a year-over-year increase of 2.2% from 1.232 bbf, and up 7.1% from the previous month’s volume of 1.175 bbf.

Sawmills in the South contributed 1.642 bbf, down 0.5% from 1.651 bbf a year earlier, but up 7.5% from production of 1.527 bbf in March 2019.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption advanced 1.9% in the four-month period to 15.968 bbf from 15.676 bbf in the previous year. In April, consumption was 4.387 bbf, a 5.0% increase from last year’s 4.180 bbf, and up 10.1% from consumption in March 2019 of 3.986 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

Canadian sawmills produced 8.588 bbf of softwood lumber in the first four months, down 8.8% from 9.421 bbf a year earlier. Much of the decline was in British Columbia, where output plunged 16.2% to 3.587 bbf from 4.279 at the same time last year. Production by sawmills East of the Rockies also fell, by 2.7% to 5.001 bbf from 5.142 bbf.

Production in April alone was 2.206 bbf, a year-over-year decline of 9.4% from 2.437 bbf in April 2018, and 4.0% lower than production in March 2019 of 2.299 bbf.

Sawmills in British Columbia contributed 903 million board ft. (mmbf) to Canada’s April production, a drop of 20.3% from 1.134 bbf in April last year. Compared to production in March this year of 958 mmbf, output by mills in British Columbia was down 5.7%.

Sawmills east of the Rockies produced 1.303 bbf in April, level with April 2018 but down 2.8% from 1.340 bbf in the previous month.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption for the four-month period plunged 16.1% to 2.786 bbf from 3.321 bbf last year. Consumption in April alone was 573 mmbf, down 34.7% from 878 mmbf in April 2018, and 12.8% lower than consumption in March 2019 of 657 mmbf.

 

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