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Canada to remain major supplier of softwood lumber to the U.S.

Dec. 11, 2018 – Consumption of softwood lumber in the U.S. is forecasted to increase over the next decade and reach an all-time high by 2030. Canada is poised to continue being a dominant supplier of softwood lumber to the U.S., but there will be changes in log availability. The timber harvests on public lands in British Columbia are set to decline over the next decade and uncertainty surrounds log availability in the eastern provinces.


December 11, 2018
By Wood Resources International LLC

The recently released multi-client study, “Future Suppliers of Softwood Lumber to the U.S. Market – Supply and Demand Outlook 2017-2030,” provides detailed regional profiles of Canada’s future sawlog availability, forecasted sawlog prices, the outlook and competitiveness of Canada’s lumber industry, and likely regional Canadian lumber supply for the U.S. market. The two major lumber-producing regions of Canada, the Western region (British Columbia and Alberta), and the Eastern provinces (Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes), each face complex factors that will further decrease the Annual Allowable Cuts (AAC). However, despite declining AACs, there is still the possibility that softwood roundwood production will increase in the future in Eastern Canada as current harvest levels are far below sustainable levels.

The more than decade-long infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle in Interior British Columbia is coming to an end. Harvest levels are predicted to fall over the 2016-2030 forecast period, though log supply for the local sawmills could be modestly augmented by slightly increasing harvests in Coastal B.C. and a likely reduction in log exports to the Pacific Rim.

Another of the study’s conclusion is that lumber exports from Eastern Canada to the U.S. are likely to increase substantially between 2017 and 2030. The in-depth analysis showed some interesting results in terms of Canada’s role as a future lumber supplier to the U.S. This was particularly true in the study’s high demand scenario.

The main contents of the comprehensive 218-page study include:

  • Demand forecasts of softwood lumber in the U.S. from 2017 to 2030.
  • Projected domestic and international suppliers that will meet U.S. softwood lumber demand during the forecast period.
  • Supply Curve Analysis with alternative scenarios of lumber supply and demand.
  • Conclusions and Sensitivities. 


The new multi-client study, “Future Suppliers of Softwood Lumber to the U.S. Market – Supply and Demand Outlook 2017-2030,” is published by ForestEdge LLC and Wood Resources International LLC. For more information about the study or to inquire about the purchasing of the 218-page report, please contact either Robert Hagler (robert@forestedge.com) or Hakan Ekstrom (hakan@woodprices.com).