North American structural panel production in Q1 up 2.8% year-over-year to 7.422 bsf, with consumption up 1.7% at 7.233 bsf; OSB production at 4.732 bsf is 8.1% higher than Q1 2013: APA

LOS ANGELES , April 18, 2014 () – North American structural panel production in the first quarter of 2014 reached 7.422 billion ft2 (bsf), up 2.8% compared with the same quarter in 2013, while apparent consumption at 7.233 bsf was up 1.7% year-over-year, according to the latest quarterly Engineered Wood Statistics report from APA-The Engineered Wood Assn.

Production fell slightly compared with Q4, 2013, when the North American total was 7.587 bsf.

U.S. structural panel manufacturers produced 5.381 bsf in Q1, with Canadian mills producing 2.041 bsf. U.S. production was down slightly on the same quarter last year (5.289 bsf), but Canada’s production in Q1 was higher than last year’s 1.929 bsf at this time.

Canadian output was the same as the previous quarter (Q4, 2013), while U.S. production was slightly lower than the 5.546 bsf recorded for Q4, 2013.

Total North American OSB production in Q1 was 4.732 bsf, up 8.1% from the 4.377 bsf recorded a year earlier, but down 2.8% compared with Q4, 2013 (4.868 bsf).

Production by U.S. OSB mills in Q1 accounted for 3.126 bsf of the total, up from 2.908 bsf in Q1, 2013, but down 4.3% from 3.265 bsf in Q4, 2013. Canadian OSB production was 1.606 bsf in Q1, compared with 1.469 bsf a year earlier and barely higher than Q4, 2013’s production figure of 1.603 bsf.

APA noted that Sturdi-I-Floor production declined 1.1% in Q1; sheathing output was down 5%; but production of siding and other OSB products rose by 20.1% and 3.1%, respectively, compared with Q4, 2013.

Meanwhile, production by North American plywood mills at 2.690 bsf in Q1 was down 5.3% from 2.841 bsf in Q1, 2013, and down 1.1% on the 2.719 bsf recorded for Q4, 2013, according to APA’s report.

In Q1, the U.S. produced 2.255 bsf of plywood, down from 2.381 bsf in Q1, 2013, and down slightly compared with Q4, 2013 (2.281 bsf). Canadian mills produced 435 million sq. ft. (mmsf) in Q1, compared with 460 mmsf in Q1, 2013, and 438 mmsf in Q4, 2013.


Of the Q1 apparent North American structural panels consumption of 7.233 bsf, the U.S. accounted for 6.103 bsf and Canada 1.130 bsf; plywood accounted for 2.666 bsf and OSB for 4.567 bsf.

Apparent consumption of plywood in the U.S. in Q1 fell by 4.1% compared with Q1, 2013 (2.286 bsf), and by 2.2% compared with Q4, 2013 (2.242 bsf), to 2.193 bsf. Apparent U.S. OSB consumption rose by 2% year-over-year but fell by 5.3% quarter-over-quarter to 3.910 bsf.

Canadian plywood consumption in Q1 was 473 mmsf, down from 571 mmsf a year earlier, and down from 489 mmsf in Q4 2013. Canada’s OSB consumption was 657 mmsf in Q1, up from 420 mmsf a year earlier and 556 mmsf in Q4, 2013.


Total North American offshore imports of structural panels at 90 mmsf in Q1 were down from 98 mmsf a year earlier and 122 mmsf in Q4, 2013.

Including volumes from Canada, the U.S. imported 991 mmsf of structural panels in Q1, down from 1.110 bsf a year earlier, and 1.104 bsf imported in the previous quarter.

Canadian structural panel imports in Q1 totaled 125 mmsf, down from 194 mmsf a year earlier but up slightly compared with Q4, 2013 (122 mmsf).


In Q1, the U.S. exported 186 mmsf of plywood, compared with 212 mmsf a year earlier and 190 mmsf in Q4, 2013.

U.S. exports of OSB were 83 mmsf in Q1, up from 66 mmsf a year earlier, but down slightly compared with the 88 mmsf recorded for Q4, 2013.

Canadian plywood exports were 47 mmsf in Q4, slightly up from 40 mmsf a year earlier and 43 mmsf in Q4, 2013.

Canadian OSB exports in Q1 reached 989 mmsf, down from 1.092 bsf a year earlier, and Q4, 2013, OSB exports of 1.075 bsf.

APA noted that U.S. plywood exports to non-Canadian markets were 5% up in Q1 relative to Q4, 2013, and up 26% compared with Q1, 2013.

It also noted that the drop in total North American OSB exports to offshore markets to 166 mmsf in Q1 from 183 mmsf in Q4, 2013, was attributed largely to a drop in U.S. exports to Chile.

Engineered wood production

North American glulam production in Q1 was 62.1 million board ft. (mmbf), compared with 58.9 mmbf a year earlier and 63.1 mmbf in Q4, 2013.

I-joist production, at 151.8 million linear ft. in Q1, was almost flat compared to Q4, 2013, and down 3.4% from the 157.1 million linear ft. recorded a year earlier.

LVL production in Q1 was 15.4 million cubic ft., up 6.2% from 14.5 million cubic ft. a year earlier, and up 10% from the 14.0 million cubic ft. in Q4, 2013.

APA noted in the introduction to its Q1 statistical report that housing starts in the U.S. were estimated during the quarter to have run at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 925,000 units, down 3.3% compared with Q1, 2013. This was partly credited to the severe weather experienced in parts of the U.S. during the quarter, notably the Midwest.

Housing starts in Canada ran at a seasonally adjusted rate of 175,000 units, up 0.6% year-over-year.

The primary source of this article is the  First Quarter 2014 Engineered Wood Statistics report released by APA - The Engineered Wood Assn.Tacoma, Washington, on April 18, 2014.

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