Sawmill closures and mothballing during recession removed 5.2 bbf of lumber from circulation, finds study by Forest Economic Advisors tracking 145 sawmills in US and Canada from 2008-2013

LOS ANGELES , December 17, 2013 () – At least five billion board ft. (bbf) of lumber was removed from circulation during the recession as a result of sawmill closings and mothballing, according to Forest Economic Advisors of Westford, Massachusetts.

A study by the group, which tracked 145 sawmills in the U.S. and Canada from October 2008 to October 2013, found that 45% of those sawmills with a combined capacity of 5.2 bbf were closed and dismantled during the period.

From that percentage, 28% have restarted, representing an original capacity of 3.9 bbf, while 17% with a combined capacity of 2.5 bbf remain idled. In addition, 9% with a combined capacity of 1.1 bbf remain closed and are unlikely to reopen, the study found.

Capacity in 2008 was 73 bbf, compared with capacity in 2013 of 68 bbf.

Source: Forest Economic Advisors LLC

The primary source of this article is Builder, Washington, on Dec. 7, 2013.

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