US sawmills produced 2.645 bbf of softwood lumber in December, down 10.5% annually from 2.954 bbf, down 9.7% from November’s 2.930 bbf; Canadian lumber production was 1.347 bbf, down 17.3% annually from 1.629 bbf, down 25.6% month-over-month: WWPA

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LOS ANGELES , March 14, 2023 () –

U.S. sawmills in December produced 2.645 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, down 10.5% from the 2.954 bbf produced in December 2021, and down 9.7% compared with November 2022’s 2.930 bbf, according to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s Lumber Track report for December 2022, dated March 13. 

Western U.S. sawmills in December contributed 960 million board ft. (mmbf) to the total, down 15.0% from the prior year’s 1.130 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills fell 7.4% year-over-year to 1.566 bbf from 1.692 bbf. Compared with November, Western sawmill production decreased 10.8% and Southern output decreased 9.1%.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in December was 3.682 bbf, down 9.4% from 4.063 bbf in December 2021 and 7.9% less than 3.997 bbf in November. 

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 74% in December, down from 81% in December 2021 and 82% in November. 

U.S. inventories in December rose 3.5% year-over-year to 3.078 bbf from 2.974 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber industry activity

Canadian sawmills in December produced 1.347 bbf of softwood lumber, down 17.3% from December 2021’s 1.629 bbf, and down 25.6% from November’s 1.811 bbf.

British Columbia mills accounted for 410 mmbf of the December total, down 28.5% compared with December 2021’s 574 mmbf and down 32.8% compared with November’s 610 mmbf.

Sawmills east of the Rockies in December produced 937 mmbf, down 11.3% from 1.055 bbf in December 2021 and 22.0% lower compared with November’s 1.201 bbf.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in December was 510 mmbf, down 2.8% from December 2021’s 525 mmbf, and down 13.4% from November. 

Canadian production as a percentage of practical capacity in December averaged 56%, down from 66% a year ago and 72% in November. 

Canadian softwood lumber inventories in December were up 4.6% year-over-year to 2.970 bbf from 2.839 bbf.

The primary source of this article is Lumber Track for December 2022, sent out by the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on March 13, 2023

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