Western US sawmills produce 9.613 bbf of lumber in first nine months, up 7.8% from 8.920 bbf a year earlier: WWPA

LOS ANGELES , November 7, 2012 () – Western US sawmills produced 9.613 billion board feet (bbf) of lumber in the first nine months of this year, up 7.8% from 8.920 bbf in the same period last year.

Coast sawmills accounted for 5,909 bbf of that total, an increase of 7.4% from 5.500 bbf in the year before, according to data released on Nov. 2 by the Western Wood Products Assn. of Portland, Oregon.

Ouput from inland mills grew 8.6% to 3.340 bbf from 3.076 bbf, while production by sawmills in California’s redwood region climbed 5.2% to 363 million board feet (mmbf) from 345 mmbf last year.

For the month of September alone, sawmills in the Western US produced 1.013 bbf, down 1.8% from 1.031 bbf in Sept. 2011 and 15% lower than production in August of 1.191 bbf.

Inland mills produced 355 mmbf in September, a drop of 4% from Sept. 2011 (370 mmbf) and 15% down from 417 mmbf in August. California’s redwood production fell 12.1% year-over-year to 38 mmbf from 43 mmbf, and was down 8.9% from 41 mmbf in August.

Softwood lumber inventories for September gained 2.6% over last year (1.298 bbf) to reach 1.332 bbf. Production as a percentage of practical capacity was 77% in the first nine months, up from 71% in the same period last year.

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