US sawmills produced 3.017 bbf of softwood lumber in January, unchanged year-over-year, up 14.1% from December’s 2.645 bbf; Canadian lumber production was 1.582 bbf, down 12.7% year-over-year from 1.813 bbf, up 17.5% from December’s 1.347 bbf: WWPA

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

LOS ANGELES , April 20, 2023 () –

U.S. sawmills in January produced 3.017 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, unchanged from January 2022, and up 14.1% compared with December 2022’s 2.645 bbf, according to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s Lumber Track report for January, dated April 19. 

Western U.S. sawmills in January contributed 1,105 bbf to the total, down 3.8% from the prior year’s 1.149 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills rose 2.6% year-over-year to 1.777 bbf from 1.732 bbf. Compared with December, Western sawmill production increased 15.1% and Southern output increased 13.5%.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in January was 4.282 bbf, up 6.2% from 4.033 bbf in January 2022 and 12.8% higher than 3.796 bbf in December. 

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 80% in January, down from 81% in January 2022 but up from 74% in December. 

U.S. inventories in January rose 3.8% year-over-year to 3.098 bbf from 2.986 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber industry activity

Canadian sawmills in January produced 1.582 bbf of softwood lumber, down 12.7% from January 2022’s 1.813 bbf, but up 17.5% from December’s 1.347 bbf.

British Columbia mills accounted for 523 million board ft. (mmbf) of the January total, down 29.9% compared with January 2022’s 746 mmbf but up 27.4% compared with December’s 410 mmbf.

Sawmills east of the Rockies in January produced 1,060 bbf, down 0.7% from 1.067 bbf in January 2022 but 13.1% higher compared with December’s 937 mmbf.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in January was 568 mmbf, down 4.3% from January 2022’s 593 mmbf, but up 5.8% from December. 

Canadian production as a percentage of practical capacity in January averaged 63%, down from 72% a year ago but up from 56% in December. 

Canadian softwood lumber inventories in January were 3.2% lower year-over-year to 2.911 bbf from 3.006 bbf.

The primary source of this article is Lumber Track for January 2023, sent out by the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on April 19, 2023

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