US sawmills produce 2.617 bbf of softwood lumber in January, up 0.3% year-over-year; output from mills in the South drops 2.6% to 1.291 bbf: WWPA

LOS ANGELES , April 9, 2014 () – U.S. sawmills produced 2.617 billion board feet (bbf) of softwood lumber in January 2014, an increase of 0.3% compared with production in January 2013 of 2.608 bbf, according to statistics released on April 7 by the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon.

Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 1.199 bbf of January’s total, up 3.7% from 1.156 bbf a year earlier, but output from mills in the South dropped 2.6% to 1.291 bbf from 1.326 bbf a year earlier.

Consumption in the U.S. was 3.328 bbf in January, a gain of 2.3% from the 2.252 bbf consumed in January 2013.

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

Canadian sawmills produced 2.083 bbf of lumber in January, a year-over-year increase of 2.4% from 2.034 bbf, reported WWPA.

Sawmills in British Columbia produced 1.106 bbf of that total, a 1.3% increase over January 2013 (1.091 bbf). Production by sawmills east of the Rockies advanced 3.7% to 978 million board ft. (mmbf) from 943 mmbf.

Canadian consumption dropped 11.2% in January to 652 mmbf from 734 mmbf in January last year.

U.S. and Canada utilization/inventories

As a percentage of total capacity, U.S. production averaged 83% in January, up from 79% in the same month of 2013. In Canada, the rate advanced to 79% from 74%.

U.S. inventories edged 0.5% higher to 3.038 bbf from 3.023 bbf a year earlier, while Canadian inventories were 6.9% higher year-over-year at 2.878 bbf compared with 2.693 bbf in January last year.

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