US softwood lumber production up 0.9% in first four months

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Softwood lumber production by U.S. sawmills in the first four months of 2019 was 11.718 billion board ft. (bbf), an increase of 0.9% from 11.616 bbf a year earlier, according to the latest data from the Western Wood Products Assn.

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.

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