This year is not over yet, but it has been one of a never-before combination of circumstances. Dire circumstances. Storms, floods, fires, in residential areas and in the forest. Adjusting to the new economics of the business of making and selling lumber has not been easy. The economic reality of the condition of the harvestable forestland in comparison to where the roads are etc, has meant long-term curtailments and closures as never seen before.
In hindsight this might seem appropriate for a place where so many huge sawmills were built, as never seen before within a single jurisdiction.
The exciting part of this particular adjustment is finding new opportunities. Opportunities that work for the individual facility location, not dictated by larger industry dynamics or by government.
The future of wood products’ manufacturing for residential construction remains, as well is added multi-storey buildings due to the new regulations for higher buildings made with wood.
The popularity of mass timber, laminates, lsl, lvl, CLT, is set to explode.
In this regard, there is also structural composite lumber, now authorized for construction in the US.
Demand for these engineered wood products was hot from the beginning, but that’s nothing compared to what it will be. In many countries the timber can’t be used to big pieces. Peeling logs and making laminates of various kinds is the solution for this constraint.
As well for large operators, like in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, the ability to target the peeler logs — once the #2 sawlogs are taken out — and make reasonably high-value engineered wood products out of it is very real. It is simply a matter of existing facilities being retro-fitted to make laminates and composites, rather than just running dimension lumber.
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