US sawmills produced 3.392 bbf of softwood lumber in March, a decrease of 2.3% annually but up 20.2% from February’s 2.823 bbf; Canadian lumber production was 1.991 bbf, down 5.5% annually from 2.107 bbf but up 22.4% from February’s 1.626 bbf: WWPA

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

LOS ANGELES , June 8, 2023 () –

U.S. sawmills in March produced 3.392 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber, a decrease of 2.3% from March 2022, but up 20.2% compared with February 2023’s 2.823 bbf, according to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s Lumber Track report for March, dated June 7. 

Western U.S. sawmills in March contributed 1.209 bbf to the total, down 11.9% from the prior year’s 1.372 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills rose 4.4% year-over-year to 2.031 bbf from 1.946 bbf. Compared with February, Western and Southern sawmill production increased 20.7% and 19.9%, respectively.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in March was 4.573 bbf, down 4.4% from 4.785 bbf in March 2022 but 17.5% higher than 3.893 bbf in February. 

U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 83% in March, down from 85% in March 2022 but up from 79% in February. 

U.S. inventories in March rose 3.6% year-over-year to 3.168 bbf from 3.056 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber industry activity

Canadian sawmills in March produced 1.991 bbf of softwood lumber, down 5.5% from March 2022’s 2.107 bbf, but up 22.4% from February’s 1.626 bbf.

British Columbia mills accounted for 734 million board ft. (mmbf) of the March total, down 7.8% compared with March 2022’s 796 mmbf but up 35.3% compared with February’s 542 mmbf.

Sawmills east of the Rockies in March produced 1.257 bbf, down 4.1% from 1.311 bbf in March 2022 but 15.9% higher compared with February’s 1.084 bbf.

Apparent Canadian softwood lumber consumption in March was 629 mmbf, up 6.4% from March 2022’s 591 mmbf, and up 20.9% from February. 

Canadian production as a percentage of practical capacity in March averaged 72%, down from 77% a year ago but up from 68% in February. 

Canadian softwood lumber inventories in March were 7.6% lower year-over-year at 3.170 bbf from 3.431 bbf.

The primary source of this article is Lumber Track for March 2023, sent out by the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on June 7, 2023

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