US sawmills produced 2.943 bbf of softwood lumber in December, down 7.1% year-over-year from 3.168 bbf, up 3.7% from November’s 2.837 bbf; Canadian lumber production in December was 1.627 bbf, down 12.2% year-over-year, down 19.8% from November: WWPA

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LOS ANGELES , March 10, 2022 () –

U.S. sawmills in December produced 2.943 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, down 7.1% from the 3.168 bbf produced in December 2020, and up 3.7% compared with November 2021’s 2.837 bbf, according to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s Lumber Track report for December, dated Mar. 9. 

Western U.S. sawmills in December contributed 1.118 bbf to the total, down 8.6% from the prior year’s 1.224 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills was down 6.1% year-over-year to 1.692 bbf from 1.802 bbf.  Compared with November 2021, Western sawmill production was down 2.7% and Southern output was up 8.4%.

In 2021, U.S. lumber production was 37.153 bbf, up 0.7% year-over-year from 36.907 bbf.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in December was 4.050 bbf, down 9.6% from 4.479 bbf in December 2020 and up 1.4% compared with November’s 3.993 bbf. In 2021, U.S. lumber consumption was 51.631 bbf, up 1.1% from 51.075 bbf a year earlier.

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 80% in December, down from 85% in December 2020 and down from November. For 2021, U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 84%, down from 86% a year earlier.

U.S. inventories in December were up 2.9% year-over-year to 3.054 bbf from 2.968 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber industry activity

Canadian sawmills in December produced 1.627 bbf of softwood lumber, down 12.2% from December 2020’s 1.853 bbf, and down 19.8% from November’s 2.029 bbf.

British Columbia mills accounted for 573 million board feet (mmbf) of the December total, down 23.5% compared with December 2020’s 748 mmbf and down 23.9% compared with November’s 753 mmbf.

Sawmills east of the Rockies in December produced 1.054 bbf, down 4.6% from 1.105 bbf in December 2020 and down 17.4% compared with November’s 1.276 bbf.

In 2021, Canadian lumber mills produced 23.711 bbf, up 2.8% year-over-year from 23.055 bbf. British Columbia mills produced 9.255 bbf of the total, up 3.8% year-over-year, and mills east of the Rockies produced 14.455 bbf, up 2.3% year-over-year.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in December was 518 mmbf, down 4.7% from December 2020’s 544 mmbf, and down 2.3% from November. 

Canadian production as a percentage of practical capacity in December averaged 66%, down from 73% a year ago and down from 82% in November. For 2021, Canadian production as a percentage of capacity was 79%, up from 78% in the same period for 2020.

Canadian softwood lumber inventories in December were up 9.0% year-over-year to 2.967 bbf from 2.723 bbf.

The primary source of this article is Lumber Track for December 2021, sent out by the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on Mar. 9, 2022

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