Western US softwood sawmills in the year to May produce 5.923 bbf of lumber, up 2.7% year-over-year, operating at 81% of capacity compared with 77% a year ago: WWPA

LOS ANGELES , July 18, 2014 () – Western U.S. softwood lumber mills produced 5.923 billion board ft. (bbf) in the first five months of 2014, an increase of 2.7% over the same period a year earlier, when output was 5.768 bbf, according to data released on July 8 by the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon.

In the first five months of this year, coastal mills accounted for 3.660 bbf – up 1.6% on the previous year’s 3.601 bbf for the same period, while inland mills increased production by 5.7% year-over-year, to 2.079 bbf from 1.967 bbf.

California redwood production in the January to May period fell by 8.0% to 184 million board ft. (mmbf) from 200 mmbf in the first five months of 2013.

In the month of May, western U.S. sawmills produced 1.190 bbf, up 1.3% year-over-year from 1.175 bbf, but down 3.6% compared with April’s output of 1.235 bbf.

Of the May total production by western sawmills, coastal mills contributed 761 mmbf, up 2.7% from 741 mmbf a year earlier, but 2.4% less than April’s volume of 779 mmbf. Inland mills accounted for 399 mmbf, virtually unchanged from the same month in 2013 (398 mmbf), and 6.3% lower than output in April of 425 mmbf.

California redwood production in May fell 14.3% year-over-year to 31 mmbf (from 36 mmbf), but was up 2.2% from April’s 30 mmbf.

Softwood lumber inventories in May were up 2% year-over-year to 1.332 bbf, and western sawmills operated at 82% of capacity in May, compared with 77% a year earlier and 81% in April. For the five months to May, sawmills operated at 81% of capacity, compared with 77% for the five months to May 2013.

The primary source of this article is the Western Wood Products Assn., Portland, Oregon, on July 8, 2014.

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