Canadian sawmill output improved 5.4% in first 11 months of 2013

Pulp & Paper Canada
February 11, 2014
By Pulp & Paper Canada

US sawmills produced 27.660 billion board feet (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first 11 months of 2013 – up 5.7% from 26.161 bbf a year earlier, according to the Western Wood Products Association’s Lumber Track report, released on Feb. 10.

Western US sawmills accounted for 12.534 bbf of the monthly total, a gain of 7.5% from 11.659 bbf a year earlier, while Southern US sawmills contributed 13.787 bbf, which was 4.2% higher than the 13.235 bbf produced in the 11-month period of 2012.

In November alone, production was 2.253 bbf – down 1.7% year-over year from 2.292 bbf, and 19.1% lower than output in Oct. 2013 of 2.785 bbf.

Sawmills in the western US contributed 1.066 bbf to the November 2013 total, up 1.6% from output a year earlier (1.049 bbf), but down 15.6% from October (1.263 bbf). Mills in the South produced 1.078 bbf in November - a decline of 4.8% from the prior year (1.132 bbf) and 22.3% lower than output in October 2013 of 1.387 bbf.

In the 11-month period, softwood lumber consumption climbed 8.2% year-over-year to 36.492 bbf from 33.738 bbf. In November alone, consumption was 3.081 bbf – a gain of 2.2% year-over-year from 3.013 bbf, but down 13.2% from the month before (3.547 bbf).

Canadian softwood lumber production/consumption

Canadian sawmills produced 22.726 bbf of softwood lumber in the 11 months – an increase of 5.4% year-over-year from 21.569 bbf.

Sawmills in British Columbia produced 11.821 bbf of the total – up 3.1% from 11.469 bbf a year earlier, while sawmills east of the Rockies accounted for 10.904 bbf, up 8.0% from the prior year (10.101 bbf).

In November 2013, Canadian production was 2.021 bbf, a gain of 0.2% compared with the same month of 2012 (2.017 bbf), but 9.3% below output in October (2.228 bbf).

Sawmills in British Columbia accounted for 1.014 bbf of November’s production, a drop of 1.5% from a volume of 1.029 a year earlier, and down 10.1% from the previous month’s output of 1.127 bbf. Sawmills east of the Rockies contributed 1.007 bbf to the November total – up 1.9% from 988 million board ft. (mmbf) a year earlier but 8.5% below October’s volume of 1.100 bbf.

Canadian softwood lumber consumption was 6.911 bbf in the first 11 months of 2013, a drop of 8.2% from 7.531 bbf a year earlier. The volume for November alone was 522 mmbf – down 23.6% year-over-year from 684 mmbf, and 18.1% below consumption in Oct. 2013 of 638 mmbf.

US and Canada utilization/inventories

US production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 82% in the 11 months to November 2013 compared with 78% a year earlier. In Canada, the figure was 81%, up from 80% in the 11-month period of 2012.

US inventories increased 3.0% to 3.010 bbf in November from 2.922 bbf in Nov. 2012. In Canada, inventories advanced 5.2% to 2.636 bbf from 2.504 bbf.

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