US sawmills produced 3.122 bbf of softwood lumber in April, a decrease of 3.5% year-over-year and 8.1% from March’s 3.398 bbf; Canadian lumber production was 1.693 bbf, down 6.3% annually from 1.807 bbf and down 14.9% from March’s 1.991 bbf: WWPA

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

LOS ANGELES , July 17, 2023 () –

U.S. sawmills in April produced 3.122 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, a decrease of 3.5% from April 2022, and down 8.1% compared with March 2023’s 3.398 bbf, according to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s Lumber Track report for April, dated July 14. 

Western U.S. sawmills in April contributed 1.074 bbf to the total, down 10.0% from the prior year’s 1.193 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills rose 0.6% year-over-year to 1.908 bbf from 1.896 bbf. Compared with March, Western and Southern sawmill production decreased 11.2% and 6.3%, respectively.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in April was 4.358 bbf, down 3.3% from 4.506 bbf in April 2022 and 4.8% lower than 4.579 bbf in March. 

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 87% in April, unchanged from April 2022 but up from 83% in March. 

U.S. inventories in April rose 1.5% year-over-year to 3.141 bbf from 3.094 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber industry activity

Canadian sawmills in April produced 1.693 bbf of softwood lumber, down 6.3% from April 2022’s 1.807 bbf, and 14.9% from March’s 1.991 bbf.

British Columbia mills accounted for 618 million board ft. (mmbf) of the April total, down 6.6% compared with April 2022’s 662 mmbf and 15.8% compared with March’s 734 mmbf.

Sawmills east of the Rockies in April produced 1.075 bbf, down 6.1% from 1.144 bbf in April 2022 and 14.5% lower compared with March’s 1.257 bbf.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in April was 472 mmbf, a decrease of 16.9% from April 2022’s 567 mmbf, and down 25.1% from March. 

Canadian production as a percentage of practical capacity in April averaged 71%, down from 72% in April 2022 and March. 

Canadian softwood lumber inventories in April were 7.0% lower year-over-year at 3.187 bbf from 3.428 bbf.

The primary source of this article is Lumber Track for April 2023, sent out by the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on July 14, 2023

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