Steady rise in North American softwood lumber production

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During the first eight months of 2016, the US sawmills produced 22.012 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, a 3.6% increase over the corresponding period of 2015 (21.250 bbf).

According to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s latest Lumber Track report, Western U.S. sawmills contributed 9.371 bbf to the eight-month volume, up 2.2% from 9.167 bbf a year earlier, and sawmills in the southern U.S. accounted for 11.634 bbf – up 4.7% from 11.109 bbf in the year before.

Meanwhile, the production in August alone rose up to 2.742 bbf, which represents an increase of 4.6% year-over-year from 2.622 bbf, and up 4.2% from output in July 2016 of 2,632 bbf. In August, Western sawmills accounted for 1.248 bbf of production, which was up 12.6% from 1.108 bbf in August last year, and up 16.4% from July’s volume of 1.072 bbf.

As WWPA reported, sawmills in the South contributed 1.369 bbf to August’s production – a drop of 1.7% from 1.393 bbf in the previous year, and down 4.9% from July’s 1.439 bbf. Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in the eight-month period was 32,897 bbf, a gain of 12.9% from 29.134 bbf in the year before. In August alone, consumption was 4.002 bbf – up 8.7% from 3.682 bbf a year earlier, and up 2.0% from 3.924 bbf in July 2016.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

Softwood lumber production by Canadian sawmills was 18.898 bbf during January-August 2016, a 7.6% increase from 17.559 bbf in the previous year. British Columbia sawmills contributed 9.166 bbf to August’s production, up 4.2% from 8.798 bbf in August 2015, while sawmills east of the Rockies produced 9.732 bbf – up 11.1% from 8.760 bbf in the same period a year earlier.

Only in August, the softwood production in Canada was 2.389 bbf – up 8.9% from 2.194 bbf last year, and up 8.6% from 2.200 bbf in July 2016. British Columbia sawmills accounted for 1.173 bbf of Canada’s August production, a gain of 8.4% from 1.082 bbf a year earlier, and up 6.8% from 1.098 bbf in the previous month.

As reported by WWPA, sawmills east of the Rockies produced 1.216 bbf, up 9.3% from 1.112 bbf in August last year, and up 10.3% from 1.102 bbf in July 2016. Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption was 6.285 bbf in the year to Aug. 31 – up 6.8% from 5.885 bbf in the previous year. In August, consumption was 813 million board ft. (mmbf) – up 19.2% year-over-year from 682 mmbf in August 2015, and 4.0% higher than July’s consumption of 782 mmbf.

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