Softwood lumber production in the U.S. on stable level, while Canadian output declines

Softwood lumber production in the U.S. on stable level, while Canadian output declines

U.S. sawmills produced 20.687 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first seven months of 2019, edging down 0.1% from 20.705 bbf a year earlier.

Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 8.416 bbf of the seven-month total, down 1.7% from 8.561 bbf in the same period of 2018, while sawmills in the southern U.S. contributed 11.298 bbf, up 1.2% from 11.169 bbf in the previous year.

in July, U.S. sawmills produced 3.017 bbf, up 3.7% from 2.908 bbf in July 2018, and up 4.8% from 2.879 bbf in June 2019.

Sawmills in the West contributed 1.202 bbf to July’s production volume, a 2.9% year-over-year gain from 1.168 bbf, and up 4.7% from 1.148 bbf in June of this year. Sawmills in the South produced 1.673 bbf, up 4.4% from last year’s 1.603 bbf and up 4.8% from 1.596 bbf in the previous month.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in the seven-month period was 28,541 bbf, up slightly from last year’s 28.507 bbf by 0.1%. Consumption in July at 4.047 bbf was down 2.5% from 4.149 bbf last year, and 0.5% below June’s volume of 4.065 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

In Canada, softwood lumber production in the first seven months was 14.720 bbf, a 10.1% year-over-year decline from 16.371 bbf. Of that total, sawmills in British Columbia contributed 6.104 bbf, an 18.9% decline from 7.523 bbf in the first seven months of last year. The volume produced by sawmills east of the Rockies also fell, by 2.6% to 8.616 bbf from 8.848 bbf last year.

In July alone, Canada’s softwood production was 1.871 bbf, down 14.2% from last year’s 2.180 bbf, and down 7.4% from 2.020 bbf in June 2019.

Production by sawmills in British Columbia accounted for 780 million board ft. (mmbf) of July’s output, compared with 1.051 bbf last year – a 25.8% drop. Sawmills east of the Rockies produced 1.091 bbf in July, down 3.4% year-over-year from 1.129 bbf, and down 9.1% from 1.200 bbf in June of this year.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in the seven-month period fell 15.0% from last year, to 4.921 bbf from 5.792 bbf. In July alone, consumption at 664 mmbf was down 15.5% from last year’s 786 mmbf, and down 8.2% from 724 mmbf in the previous month.

U.S. and Canada utilization/inventories

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 83% in the first seven months, down from the average in the same period last year of 86%, while the percentage in Canada dropped to 80% from 89%.

U.S. inventories edged up 0.8% to 3.027 bbf in July from 3.004 bbf in the same month a year earlier. Canadian inventories fell 6.8% to 3.118 bbf from 3.345 bbf last year.



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