After many months of solid increases, for January to September softwood lumber production volumes across North America came closer to matching levels of 2020.
Sawmill capacity utilization rates in the United States remained level while those in Canada recovered nicely from terrible lows last year.
For the first nine months of 2021 softwood lumber production in the US improved by +2.1% from the same time last year, says the latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track.
US lumber production volumes were 28,151 mmfbm compared to January to September of 2020 when it was 27,562 mmfbm.Looking at the month of September against August 2021: US softwood lumber production was 3,003 mmfbm in September 2021 compared to 3,072 mmfbm in August, a -2.2% drop.
Meanwhile in Canada, for January to September 2021, improvements slowed from earlier in the year; Canada sawmill manufacturing was up +6%, to 18,111 mmfbm, compared to the first nine months of last year when it was 17,085 mmfbm. Specifically in British Columbia — which accounts for 50% of Canadian lumber manufacturing and sales — sawmill production volumes for January to September 2021 grew by +9.1%, to 7,177 mmfbm, compared to the same time last year when it was 6,577 mmfbm.
North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: September 2021
US sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity for the first nine months of this year was flat, at 85%, compared to the same time in 2020, said the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track.
Staying much higher from the dismal lows of last year, Canadian sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity in January to September 2021 was at 80% compared to the first nine months of 2020 when it was an abysmal 77%.