Western U.S. sawmills produced less lumber in Q1/2017

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Western U.S. sawmills produced 3.422 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first three months of 2017, a year-over-year decline of 2.1% from 3.495 bbf, the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon, reported.

Of the three-month total, coastal mills accounted for 2.100 bbf, level with 2.101 bbf a year earlier, while production by inland mills was down 3.0% to 1.230 bbf from 1.267 bbf.  California redwood production plunged 27.2% to 93 million board ft. (mmbf) from 127 mmbf.

In the month of March, Western U.S. sawmills produced 1.246 bbf of softwood lumber, a drop of 1.6% from 1.267 bbf in March 2016, but up 14.8% from 1.086 bbf in February 2017.
Coastal mills contributed 764 mmbf to output in March, down 0.6% year-over-year from 769 mmbf, but up 15.4% from production in February of 662 mmbf. Inland production was down 2.4% year-over-year to 442 mmbf from 452 mmbf, but was 11.0% higher than output of 398 mmbf in February 2017.

California redwood production in March was 41 mmbf, down 10.9% from 46 mmbf a year earlier, but up 54.4% from 26 mmbf in February.

Total western softwood lumber inventories for the first three months of 2017 were 1.319 bbf, down 3.0% from 1.360 bbf in the same period a year earlier.

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