The Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) is reporting that in May, North American softwood lumber production increased 11.5% year-over-year (YOY). Canadian production increased 13.3% YOY and in the U.S., production rose 10.4%. However, month-over-month (MOM) U.S. production was down -8.6%, with a -9.1% decrease in the U.S. South and a 7.9% decline in the U.S. West. In Canada production was down -4.5% due to declines in both B.C. of -6.9% and East of the Rockies of 2.8%.
Producers in both Canada and the U.S. took full advantage of record high prices and operating rates were increased. Compared to May 2020, softwood lumber consumption was up in both countries 18.4%. U.S. softwood lumber consumption was up 18.1% YOY but down -4.1% MOM; and Canadian softwood lumber consumption up 20.4% YOY but down -28.0% MOM.
The WWPA indicates that the MOM declines in lumber consumption were likely attributable to the slowdown in R&R activity and there being one few weekdays in May.
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The Western Wood Products Association May 2021 softwood lumber stats