Softwood lumber production rises
A new industry report says softwood lumber production in Canada and the U.S. grew in the first five months of 2012.
By John Tenpenny
Acording to Industry Intelligence Inc., softwood lumber production by Canadian sawmills in the year to May 30 was 9.744 bbf, an increase of 4.3% compared with the same period last year (9.340 bbf), while U.S. production climbed 8% to 11.904 bbf in the first five months, up from 11.022 bbf.
Sawmills in British Columbia accounted for 5.291 bbf of that total – up 4.5% from 5.065 bbf in the same period last year. Sawmills east of the Rockies produced 4.453 bbf – 4.2% higher than production in the same period last year of 4.276 bbf.
In May alone, Canadian production was 1.975 bbf, up 61.0% from l.863 bbf in May last year, and 1.6% higher than April’s output of 1.945 bbf.
Of May’s total, sawmills in British Columbia accounted for 1.045 bbf, up 1.8% from last year (1.027 bbf) and 0.1% higher than April’s production figure of 1.044 bbf. Sawmills east of the Rockies produced 930 mmbf in May, up 11.2% from last May (837 mmbf) and 11.2% higher than April’s output of 900 mmbf.
Canadian softwood lumber consumption climbed 0.7% to 3.412 bbf in the first five months from 3.390 bbf last year. In May alone, consumption was 662 mmbf, down 5.6% from last year (702 mmbf) and 2.6% lower than April’s consumption of 680 mmbf.
U.S. production as a percentage of practical capacity averaged 77% in the first five months, up from 72% in the same period last year. In Canada, the figure was 84%, compared with 81% a year earlier.
U.S. inventories increased by 5.2% to 2.929 bbf in May from 2.785 bbf a year earlier. In Canada, inventories dropped 10.9% to 2.655 bbf from 2.981 bbf.
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