Western US sawmills produce 3% more lumber in Jan.-Oct. 2017

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Western U.S. sawmills produced 11.853 billion board ft. (bbf) of softwood lumber in the first 10 months of 2017, a gain of 3.0% from the 11.513 bbf produced in the same period a year earlier, according to figures from the Western Wood Products Assn. (WWPA) of Portland, Oregon.

Coastal mills contributed 7.220 bbf to the 10-month production volume, up 3.5% from 6.975 bbf in the same period last year, while inland mills accounted for 4.176 bbf – an increase of 2.6% from 4.069 bbf last year. California redwood production fell 2.5% to 457 million board ft. (mmbf) from 469 mmbf.

In October alone, Western U.S. sawmills produced 1.246 bbf of softwood lumber, a year-over-year increase of 7.7% from 1.156 bbf a year earlier, and up 8.9% from 1.144 bbf in September 2017.

Coastal mills accounted for 757 mmbf of October’s production, a gain of 9.0% from 694 mmbf last year, and up 10.6% from 684 mmbf in September. Inland mills produced 443 mmbf – up 6.0% from 418 mmbf last year, and 6.4% higher than output in the previous month of 416 mmbf.

Output in October by California redwood mills was 46 mmbf, a gain of 4.3% from 44 mmbf in October 2016, and up 6.1% from 43 mmbf in September 2017.

Softwood lumber inventories edged 0.5% higher in October to 1.151 bbf from 1.146 bbf a year earlier.

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