After some steep drops and struggling attempts to recover last year, Canadian sawmill capacity utilization rates finally reached normal levels in November 2020. Those in the US continued to maintain steady highs throughout the year.
Compared to one-year-ago, for January – November 2020 softwood lumber production in the US popped up somewhat, rising by another +3.3%, says the latest issue of the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track. In the first eleven months of last year, US lumber production volumes were 33,542 mmfbm compared to the same time in 2019 when it was 32,475 mmfbm.
However, looking at the month of November against October 2020, US softwood lumber production fell by -13%, at 2,852 mmfbm in October compared to 3,270 mmfbm for October 2020.
Canadian softwood lumber production for most of 2020 remained low compared to the previous year.
Staying quite low through most of last year, softwood lumber production in Canada was flat in November. Manufacturing volumes dropped another -5.2% for the first eleven months of 2020, to 21,202 mmfbm, compared to January – November 2019 when it was 22,356 mmfbm.
Still lower than the previous month, comparing the month of November to October last year, Canadian softwood lumber production was down by -3.8%, at 2,019 mmfbm for November 2020 compared to 2,099 mmfbm in October.
Specifically in British Columbia, sawmill production volumes for year-to-date 2020 continued falling, down by another -9.8% to 8,172 mmfbm, compared to January – November 2019 when it was 9,056 mmfbm.
North America Softwood Lumber Production, Sawmill Capacity Utilization, WWPA: November 2020
US sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity for January to November last year maintained its steady level, at 86%, compared to the first eleven months of 2019 when it was 85%, said the Western Wood Products Association’s monthly Lumber Track.
After terrible lows in April last year, Canadian sawmill production as a per cent of practical capacity improved significantly in November last year, at 90% for the month compared to October 2020 when it was 81% and compared to November 2019 when it was also 81%.