With few mill acquisitions, almost all of the production gains arose from improvements at existing mills. Of the top 40 companies, 8 in Canada and 6 in the U.S. recorded production declines - not the trend you'd expect during a time of near-record-high to record-high lumber prices.
Total Canadian softwood lumber shipments declined by 1.7% to 28.0 billion bf while U.S. production increased by 3.7% to 33.9 billion bf.
The top 10 Canadian producers have seen their shipments grow at a slightly slower pace than the overall Canadian industry since 2014. In 2017, the softwood lumber shipments of the top 10 decreased marginally versus a larger decline in Canada as a whole (-1.4% for the top 10; -1.7% for Canada). The drop in Canadian shipments is a function of many factors, but the implementation of import duties to the U.S. in early 2017 was one that caused Canadian companies to re-evaluate their markets and mills.