Sawmills in the United States produced 14.752 billion board feet (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first five months of 2018, a +5.9% increase from output of 13.937 bbf in the same period last year, said the latest Western Wood Products Association Lumber Track report.
Western US sawmills accounted for 6.180 bbf to the five-month total, up +8.9% from 5.677 bbf a year earlier, while output at southern U.S. sawmills was up +3.6% to 7.876 bbf from 7.600 bbf.
In May alone, production by US sawmills was 3.173 bbf, up +7.3% year-over-year from 2.957 bbf, and up +5.3% from 3.014 bbf in April 2018.
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Western US sawmills contributed 1.281 bbf to May’s production volume, up +4.9% from 1.222 bbf in the previous year, and up +3.7% from 1.236 bbf in the month before.
Southern US sawmills produced 1.742 bbf towards the monthly total, a +9.2% year-over-year gain from 1.595 bbf, and up +6.5% from 1.636 bbf in April 2018.
Apparent US softwood lumber consumption was 20.125 bbf in the first five months, an increase of +1.1% from 19.909 bbf in the same period last year. In May, consumption was 4.444 bbf, up +8.4% from 4.100 bbf in May 2017, and +6.5% higher than consumption in April 2018 of 4.173 bbf.