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Softwood lumber production in U.S. up 0.9% in Jan.-Apr. 2016

[July 15, 2016]

Softwood lumber production by U.S. sawmills reached 10.718 billion board ft. (bbf) of in the first four months of 2016, a gain of 0.9% from 10.625 bbf in the same period last year, the Western Wood Products Assn. reported in its latest Lumber Track report.

Western U.S. sawmills accounted for 4.652 bbf of the four-month total, down 1.8% from 4.737 bbf a year earlier, while production at southern U.S. sawmills rose by 3.2% to 5.575 bbf from 5.401 bbf.

In April alone, U.S. sawmills produced 2.665 bbf, a drop of 4.7% from 2.796 bbf a year earlier, and down 6.7% from 2.855 bbf in March 2016.

Western sawmills accounted for 1.157 bbf of production in April, down 7.2% year-over-year from 1.247 bbf, and down 8.6% from 1.267 bbf in March 2016.

Sawmills in the South contributed 1.386 bbf to April¡¯s production, 2.5% lower than last year¡¯s 1.421 bbf, and down 4.9% from 1.458 in March of this year.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption was 16.224 bbf in the four-month period, a 13.4% increase from 14.310 bbf in the year before. In April, consumption was 4.038 bbf ¨C up 7.6% from 3.754 bbf last year, but down 8.5% from consumption in March 2016 of 4.414 bbf.