U.S. sawmills produced less lumber in the first five months

August 13, 2019
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U.S. sawmills produced 14.647 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first five months of 2019, down 1.1% from output in the same period last year of 14.807 bbf.

Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 6.067 bbf of the five-month total, a decline of 1.6% from 6.164 bbf a year earlier, while output at southern U.S. sawmills slipped 0.7% to 7.892 bbf from 7.946 bbf.

In May, production by U.S. sawmills dropped 10.7% year-over-year to 2.851 bbf from 3.191 bbf, and was 7.9% lower than output in April 2019 of 3.096 bbf.

Western U.S. sawmills contributed 1.239 bbf to May’s production, a drop of 3.3% from 1.281 bbf in the previous year, and 2.0% lower than the 1.264 bbf produced in the month before.

Southern U.S. sawmills accounted for 1.478 bbf of May’s production volume, a 16.o% decline from 1.760 bbf last year, and down 12.3% from 1.686 bbf in the previous month.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption was 20.285 bbf in the first five months, up 0.8% from last year’s 20.133 bbf. In May, consumption was 4.258 bbf, down 4.5% from 4.457 bbf last year, and 4.1% below output in April 2019 of 4.440 bbf.