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Daily News / Global Trends / Market Analysis / Forestry / Sawmilling / Statistics / Wood Products / Global / North America
August 12, 2019

North American lumber production on a downward trend; Canadian output drops by 10%

North American lumber production on a downward trend; Canadian output drops by 10%

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.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

In the first five months of 2019, Canadian sawmills produced 10.829 bbf of softwood lumber, a drop of 9.0% from 11.896 bbf in the same period last year. Of that total, British Columbia producers contributed 4.503 bbf, a 16.5% drop from last year’s 5.396 bbf, while sawmills east of the Rockies accounted for 6.325 bbf – down 2.7% from 6.499 bbf a year earlier.

Canadian production volumes in May alone were 2.240 bbf, a year-over-year decline of 9.5% from 2.475 bbf in May 2018, but up 1.5% from 2.206 bbf in the month before.

British Columbia’s softwood lumber producers’ contribution to May’s output plunged 18.0% to 916 million board ft. (bbf) bbf from 1.117 bbf in May last year, but was up by 1.4% from the 903 mmbf produced in April 2019.

Sawmills east of the Rockies in May produced 1.324 bbf, down 2.5% from 1.357 bbf in May 2018, but 1.6% higher than April’s volume of 1.303 bbf.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in the first five months fell 17.0% to 3.533 bbf from 4.256 bbf last year. In May, Canadian consumption was 747 mmbf, down 20.1% from 935 mmbf a year earlier, but up 30.3% from 573 mmbf in April 2019.

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