U.S. sawmills in the first six months of 2019 produced 17.602 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, down 1.1% from output in the same period last year of 17.797 bbf.
Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 7.215 bbf of the six-month total, a decline of 2.4% from 7.393 bbf a year earlier, while output at southern U.S. sawmills slipped 0.1% to 9.560 bbf from 9.566 bbf.
Output from other regions in the first half of 2019 was down by 1.2% year-over-year to 828 million board ft. (mmbf) from 838 mmbf.
In the month of June, production by U.S. sawmills dropped 5.6% year-over-year to 2.822 bbf from 2.990 bbf, and was down 5.4% compared with the prior month’s 2.981 bbf.
Western U.S. sawmills in the month of June contributed 1.148 bbf, a drop of 6.6% from 1.229 bbf a year ago, and down 7.4% from May’s 1.239 bbf.
Southern U.S. sawmills in June accounted for 1.541 bbf of production volume, a 4.9% decline from 1.620 bbf last year, and down 3.8% from 1.602 bbf in the previous month.
Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in the first six months of 2019 was 24.426 bbf, up 0.3% from 24.358 bbf in the same period a year ago. In the month of June, consumption was 4.008 bbf, down 5.1% from 4.225 bbf in June 2018, and 8.7% below output in May 2019 of 4.388 bbf.
Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption
In the first half of 2019, Canadian sawmills produced 12.849 bbf of softwood lumber, a drop of 9.5% from 14.191 bbf in the same period last year. Of that total, British Columbia producers contributed 5.324 bbf, a 17.7% year-over-year drop from 6.472 bbf. Sawmills east of the Rockies accounted for 7.525 bbf – down 2.5% from 7.719 bbf in the first six months of 2018.
Canadian production volumes in the month of June were 2.020 bbf, a year-over-year decline of 12.0% from 2.295 bbf in June 2018, and down 9.8% month-over-month from 2.240 bbf in May.
In the month of June, British Columbia’s softwood lumber sawmills contributed 821 mmbf, a year-over-year drop of 23.7% from 1.076 bbf, and down 10.4% compared with May’s output of 916 mmbf.
Sawmills east of the Rockies in June produced 1.200 bbf, down 1.6% from 1.219 bbf in June 2018, and down 9.4% from May’s volume of 1.324 bbf.
Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in the first six months fell 15.0% to 4.257 bbf from 5.006 bbf in the same period of 2018. In the month of June, Canadian consumption was 724 mmbf, down 3.6% from 751 mmbf a year earlier, and down 3.2% from 747 mmbf in May 2019.
U.S. and Canada utilization/inventories
U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 83% in the first six months of 2019, down from 86% in the first half of 2018, while Canada’s average fell to 81% from 90%.
U.S. inventories climbed 1.1% in the first six months to 3.043 bbf from 3.011 bbf a year ago, while Canadian inventories dropped by 5.1% to 3.261 bbf from 3.436 bbf.