U.S. sawmills produced 26.614 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first nine months of 2018, a gain of 4.3% from 25.514 bbf in the same period a year earlier, according to the latest Lumber Track report by the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon.
Western U.S. sawmills contributed 11.022 bbf to the nine-month total, up 5.4% % from last year’s 10.454 bbf, while output from Southern sawmills at 14.339 bbf was up 3.5% year-over-year from 13.852 bbf
In September alone, output was 2.724 bbf – down 1.1% from 2.754 bbf last year, and down 14.9% from production in August 2018 of 3.202 bbf.
Sawmills in the West produced 1.154 bbf of September’s total, up 2.4% from 1.127 bbf last year, but down 9.8% from 1.280 bbf in the previous month. Southern sawmills accounted for 1.442 bbf, a year-over-year drop of 3.7% from 1.497 bbf, and down 18.6% from 1.771 bbf in August 2018.
Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in the first nine months was 36.814 bbf, an increase of 3.0% from 35.746 bbf in the same period last year. Apparent consumption in September was 3.823 bbf, down 2.4% from 3.917 bbf a year earlier and 13.9% lower than August’s volume of 4.442 bbf.