Western US sawmills produce 3.435 bbf of lumber in first three months of 2013, up 10.4% year-over-year: WWPA

LOS ANGELES , May 14, 2013 () – Sawmills in the western U.S. produced 3.435 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first three months of 2013, a gain of 10.4% compared with production of 3.112 bbf in the same period of 2012, according to data from the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon.

Of the 2013 total, coastal mills accounted for 2.120 bbf - up 11.2% from production of 1.905 bbf a year earlier. Inland mills accounted for 1.174 bbf, a gain of 6.9% over the 1.099 bbf produced in the first three months of 2012. California’s redwood production jumped 30.5% year-over-year to 142 million board ft. (mmbf) from 108 mmbf.

In March alone, total lumber production by western U.S. sawmills was 1.165 bbf, up 7.7% from 1.082 bbf in March 2012 and 4.7% higher than February's production of 1.112 bbf, WWPA reported.

Coastal mills produced 721 mmbf in March, a gain of 10.3% compared with March 2012 (653 mmbf) and 5.3% higher than output in February of 684 mmbf. Production by inland mills was 397 mmbf in March, up 2.4% year-over-year from 388 mmbf and 3.8% higher than February's production of 382 mmbf. California's redwood production reached 47 mmbf in March, up 15.3% from March 2012 (41 mmbf) and 2.6 higher than production in February of 46 mmbf.

Softwood lumber inventories for March gained 3.5%, reaching 1.353 bbf compared with 1,307 bbf in March last year.

The primary source of this article is the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on May 3, 2013.

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