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Daily News / Global Trends / Market Analysis / Lumber / Sawmilling / Statistics / Wood Products / Global / North America
March 14, 2018

US lumber production on the rise in 2017

US lumber production on the rise in 2017

U.S. sawmills increased softwood lumber production by 4.2% in 2017 to a full-year total of 33.888 billion board ft. (bbf), up from 32.535 bbf in 2016, the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon, reported.

Of the 2017 total, Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 14.063 bbf, a 3.0% increase from 13.654 bbf in 2016, while Southern U.S. sawmills contributed 18.229 bbf - up 5.1% from 17.349 bbf.

In December 2017, softwood lumber production was 2,600 bbf, a year-over-year increase of 6.0% from 2.453 bbf, but down 1.6% from 2.643 bbf in the previous month.

Western sawmills contributed 1.057 bbf to December's production, a 2.1% gain from 1.036 bbf in December 2016, but down 8.5% from 1.155 bbf in November 2016.

Sawmills in the South produced 1.420 bbf in December, up 9.1% from 1.302 bbf a year earlier, and 4.2% higher than production in November 2017 of 1.363 bbf.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption advanced 1.1% to 47.865 bbf in 2017 from 47.367 bbf in 2016. In December, consumption was 3.713 bbf - up 2.9% from 3.609 bbf in December 2016, but down 3.3% from 3.837 bbf in November 2017.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

Canadian sawmills produced 28.334 bbf of softwood lumber in 2017, almost level with 2016's production volume of 28.335 bbf, WWPA reported.

Sawmills in British Columbia contributed 12.950 bbf to the full-year production volume, a drop of 4.5% from 13.559 bbf in 2016. Sawmills East of the Rockies produced 15.384 bbf, up 4.1% from 14.775 bbf a year earlier.

In December 2017, Canadian sawmills produced 2.008 bbf, a year-over-year drop of 0.7% from 2.023 bbf, and down 18.4% from November's production volume of 2.460 bbf.

British Columbian sawmills produced 924 million board ft. (mmbf) of softwood lumber in December, a 1.4% drop from 937 mmbf in the previous December, and a 15.2% decline from 1.090 bbf in November 2017. Sawmills East of the Rockies produced 1.084 bbf in December, a year-over-year drop of 0.2% from 1.085 bbf, and down 20.9% from 1.370 bbf in the previous month.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption climbed 3.3% to 9.871 bbf in 2017 from 9.556 bbf in 2016. In December alone, consumption was 586 mmbf, a year-over-year increase of 3.0% from 569 mmbf, but down 27.5% from 808 mmbf in November 2017.

U.S. and Canada utilization/inventories

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 87% in 2017, up from 86% in 2016, while the percentage in Canada fell to 88% from 91%.

U.S. inventories rose by 0.9% in December 2017 to 2.898 bbf from 2.872 bbf in December 2016, while Canadian inventories were up 10.7% to 3.144 bbf from 2.840 bbf.

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