Inland U.S. sawmills anticipate curtailments as Ponderosa pine log decks run low, some plan switch to alternative species

LOS ANGELES , June 13, 2011 () – Sawmills in the U.S. Inland region are anticipating downtime later this month or in July because of dwindling supplies of Ponderosa pine logs, Random Lengths reported on June 10.

Log decks are running low following an unusually wet spring and heavy snowpack, which slowed logging in many areas. Producers say log supplies ran behind daily production requirements by a wide margin for much of the spring.

One producer told the Eugene, Oregon-based industry news service that he had already run out of logs and expected to be down for at least a few weeks, while another expects to run out of logs in about the first week in July. Some mills are planing to process alternative species for most of June.

An increase in exports of Ponderosa pine logs has contributed to the problem, with pine log exports up 134% in Q1 compared to the same quarter last year. China was the biggest overseas consumer and is a relatively new buyer in the market.

The primary source of this article is Random Lengths, Eugene, Oregon, on June 10, 2011.

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