The US sawmills registered a 4.1% decline of softwood lumber production in January 2016, going from 2.624 billion board ft. in January 2015 and reaching 2.517 bbf. Also, this represented a 1.3% decrease from December 2015 (2.550 bbf), as the Western Wood Products Assn. reported in April.
Only 1.107 bbf were produced by the Western US sawmills, which added up to January’s total. This was a year-over-year decrease of 5.6% from 1.173 bbf, but a 2.9% increase from the 1.075 bbf in December 2015. Also, the South US sawmills produced 1.299 bbf for January 2016, a 2.7% drop from the 1.335 bbf from last year. Also, the production was 3.1% lower than the 1.341 bbf produced in December 2015.
The softwood lumber consumption in the US reached 3.612 bbf in January, going up 4.2%, compared to the 3.468 bbf consumed in January 2015, but only 0.3% higher compared to the 3.601 bbf consumed in December 2015.
As the WWPA reported, the softwood lumber production by Canadian sawmills in January was 2.285 bbf, up 14.2% from January last year (2.001 bbf), and up 4.2% from 2.193 bbf in the previous month. Thus, the sawmills from BC accounted for 1.121 bbf of the January 2016 total, an increase of 7.4% from 1.044 bbf in January last year, and up 3.0% compared with December 2015’s 1.089 bbf.
The production by Canadian sawmills east of the Rockies was 1.163 bbf in January, up 21.5% from 958 million board ft. (mmbf) last year, and 5.4% higher than December’s production volume of 1.104 bbf.
The softwood lumber consumption in Canada was 696 mmbf in January, up 1.1% from 688 mmbf a year earlier, and 7.8% higher than 645 mmbf in the previous month.
As a total, according to WWPA statistics, the US production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 84% in January, up from 83% in January 2015 and level with the full-year average for 2015 of 84%. Canadian mills operated at 94% of capacity, up from 79% in January last year and higher than the previous year’s average of 86%.
Also, the US inventories edged up 0.4% to 3.011 bbf from 3.000 bbf last year, while Canadian inventories were up 10.9% to 3.025 bbf in January 2016 from 2.728 bbf a year earlier.