In a reversal from most of this year, US sawmill capacity utilization rates fell in August 2020 compared to September while those in Canada improved from the previous month.
Compared to one-year-ago, for January – August 2020 softwood lumber production in the US remained higher than last year, up another +3%, says the latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track. In the first eight months of this year, US lumber production volume was 24,392 mfbm compared to the same time in 2019 when it was 23,711 mfbm.
Comparing the month of August to July 2020, US softwood lumber production fell by -8%, at 3,071 mfbm for August 2020.
After recovering in June from the lows of April, Canadian softwood lumber production and sawmill capacity dropped back down significantly in July 2020.
In Canada, meanwhile, softwood lumber production actually dropped in August after recovering somewhat in July, down for the first eight months of 2020, to 14,956 mfbm, compared to January – August 2019 when it was 16,455 mfbm. This is a big drop, of -9%. Comparing the month of August to July 2020, Canada softwood lumber production reversed previous improvements, to fall by +4%, at 1,871 mfbm for August 2020 compared to 1,925 mfbm the previous month.
Specifically British Columbia sawmill production volumes for year-to-date 2020 kept falling, by -16% to 5,731 mfbm compared to January – August 2019 when it was 6,848 mfbm.
North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: August 2020
US sawmill production as per cent of practical capacity for January to August 2020 continued to remain flat, at 85%, as it was in the first eight months of 2019, said the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track.
Canadian sawmill production as per cent of practical capacity improved in August 2020, to 74% compared July when it was only 72%.