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Daily News / Global Trends / Market Analysis / Forestry / Lumber / Sawmilling / Statistics / Wood Products / Global / North America
January 7, 2020

Slight decline in U.S. softwood lumber production for Jan.-Oct. 2019

Slight decline in U.S. softwood lumber production for Jan.-Oct. 2019

U.S. sawmills produced 29.909 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first 10 months of 2019, down 0.4% from the 29.789 bbf produced in the same period a year earlier.

Western U.S. sawmills contributed 12.108 bbf to the 10-month total, down 1.5% from the prior year’s 12.288 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills was up 1.8% to 16.393 bbf from 16.099 bbf in the same period of 2018.

In October 2019 alone, U.S. sawmills produced 3.266 bbf – up 4.1% from October 2018’s 3.136 bbf, and up 16.1% from production in September 2019 of 2.813 bbf.

Sawmills in the West contributed 1.311 bbf to October’s total, up 0.8% year-over-year from 1.300 bbf, and up 14.2% compared with the previous month’s volume of 1.148 bbf. Southern sawmills accounted for 1.801 bbf in October, a year-over-year increase of 6.6% from 1.689 bbf in October 2018, and up 17.6% compared with 1.532 bbf in September 2019.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in the first 10 months of 2019 was 41.140 bbf, up 0.3% from 41.030 bbf a year earlier. In October 2019, apparent consumption was 4.370 bbf, up 2.9% from 4.246 bbf a year earlier, and up 10.5% from 3.954 bbf in September 2019.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

Canadian sawmills in the 10 months through October 2019 produced 20.779 bbf of softwood lumber, down 10.7% from the prior year’s 23.279 bbf.

Sawmills in British Columbia accounted for 8.460 bbf of the 10-month total, a 20.7% drop from output a year earlier of 10.663 bbf. Sawmills east of the Rockies produced 12.319 bbf in the first 10 months of 2019, 2.4% less than the previous year’s output of 12.616 bbf.

Canadian softwood production in the month of October 2019 was 2.171 bbf, down 9.2% year-over-year from 2.391 bbf, but up 11.1% from output in September 2019 of 1.954 bbf.

Sawmills in British Columbia accounted for 835 million board ft. (mmbf) of October’s production volume, down 21.4% from 1.062 bbf the prior year, but up 13.2% from September 2019’s volume of 738 mmbf. Sawmills east of the Rockies produced 1.336 bbf in October 2019, up 0.6% year-over-year from 1.328 bbf, and up 9.9% from 1.216 bbf in September 2019.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in the first 10 months of 2019 plunged 15.0% to 7.020 bbf from the prior year’s 8.262 bbf. In October 2019, apparent Canadian consumption was 753 mmbf, down 13.2% from 867 mmbf a year earlier, and up 14.2% from September 2019’s figure of 659 mmbf.

U.S. and Canada utilization/inventories

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 84% in the first 10 months of 2019, down from 86% for the same period the prior year, while in Canada, the average dropped to 80% from 88%.

U.S. inventories declined in October by 3.0% year-over-year to 3.025 bbf from 3.118 bbf, while in Canada inventories were down 7.6% year-over-year to 3.051 bbf from 3.300 bbf.

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