Western U.S. sawmills produce 9.115 bbf of softwood lumber in first eight months, up 8.1% from 8.432 bbf a year earlier: WWPA

LOS ANGELES , November 7, 2011 () – Softwood lumber production by western U.S. sawmills grew 8.1% in the first nine months to reach 9.115 billion board ft. (bbf) compared to 8.432 bbf in the same period last year.

Of that total, coastal output was up 8.5% at 5.741 bbf from 5.290 bbf a year earlier, according to figures released on Nov. 4 by the Western Wood Products Assn. of Portland, Oregon.

Production by inland mills was 7.6% higher at 3.025 bbf, up from 2.810 bbf, while output from California’s redwood region grew 5.0% to 349 million board ft. (mmbf) from 332 mmbf.

In September alone, production from western U.S. sawmills was 1.053 bbf, a drop of 6.2% from August's 1.123 bbf, but 11.1% higher than the 948 mmbf produced in Sept. 2010.

Coastal mills produced 646 mmbf in September, down 7.4% from 698 mmbf in August, but 11.8% higher than output in September last year (578 mmbf).

Production at inland mills was 363 mmbf, a drop of 4.6% from August (381 mmbf), but 10.8% higher than production in September last year of 328 mmbf.

California’s redwood output dropped 1.8% between August and September from 44 mmbf to 43 mmbf, but was 3.5% higher than production last September (42 mmbf).

Softwood lumber inventories grew 5.9% to 1.224 bbf in September, compared with 1.156 bbf in September last year.

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