Keeping pace with the previous month’s report, for February 2021, the softwood lumber production volumes and sawmill capacity utilization rates in the United States fell again. However that in Canada remained essentially flat.
US and Canadian housing activity in the month of May started showing signs of cracking, as US house prices fell. Yet the wisdom from realtors is that this is only because availability of homes-for-sale is incredibly tight. When US housing starts data for April comes out, the permits for new home building data will shed a good light on what to expect for June construction activity.
After remaining stable for most of last year then dropping in January 2021, compared to the same month one year ago, for February 2021 softwood lumber production in the US dropped nominally, down by -4.4%, says the latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track. US lumber production volumes for the first two months of 2021 were 5,864 mmfbm compared to one year ago when it was 6,137 mmfbm. Indeed, looking at the month of February against January 2021, US softwood lumber production fell by -9.2% from 3,073 mmfbm in January to 2,791 mmfbm in February 2021.
After some real drops last year, softwood lumber production in Canada puttered along in February compared to the previous month. Manufacturing volumes increased by +4.7% in February 2021, to 3,943 mmfbm, compared to the same month last year when it was 3,766 mmfbm.
Specifically in British Columbia, sawmill production volumes for February 2021 continued improvements of the previous month, up by +6.5% to 1,556 mmfbm, compared to February 2020 when it was 1,461 mmfbm.
North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: February 2021
US sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity for February 2021 stayed flat at 87% for the same month last year, said the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track. Continuing to recover from last year, Canadian sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity rose significantly in February 2021, to 84% compared to one year ago when it was an abysmally low 76%.