U.S. lumber production up 3.2%

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U.S. sawmills produced 22.721 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first eight months of 2017, a 3.2% increase from 22.019 bbf in the previous year, according to the Western Wood Products Assn.’s latest Lumber Track report.

Western U.S. sawmills contributed 9.464 bbf to the eight-month volume, up 2.7% from 9.220 bbf in the same period a year earlier, while sawmills in the southern U.S. accounted for 12.187 bbf, a 3.6% increase from 11.763 bbf last year.

Production in August alone was 3.004 bbf, up 5.0% year-over-year from 2.860 bbf, and up 9.7% from July’s production volume of 2.739 bbf.

Western sawmills accounted for 1.327 bbf of production in August, up 8.2% from 1.226 bbf a year ago, and an 8.2% increase from 1.122 bbf in July 2017.

Sawmills in the South contributed 1.536 bbf to output in August, a year-over-year gain of 2.5% from 1.499 bbf, and up 3.2% from 1.488 bbf in the month before.

Apparent U.S. softwood lumber consumption in the first eight months of 2017 was 31.979 bbf, down 0.4% from 32.101 bbf in the same period last year. In August alone, consumption was 3.992 bbf, a drop of 3.5% from last year’s 4.136 bbf, but up 5.0% from the previous month’s volume of 3.804 bbf.

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