Domestic demand for U.S. softwood to go up in next decade

Image: Interfor lumber yard

The demand for U.S. softwood lumber is expected to continue on an upward trajectory from the lows of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, reaching an all-time high by mid 2020s, according to the US Lumber Outlook Study by ForestEdge LLC and Wood Resources International LLC.

The new study reports that lumber consumption in the end-use category “Non-Residential Construction” is forecasted to grow the fastest and increase its share of softwood lumber consumption from 11 per cent in 2016 to 14 per cent by 2030. However, the biggest end-use market will continue to be the residential housing sector, including repair and remodeling, at a total share of about 70 per cent of the total lumber consumption by 2030.

It is expected that supply sources will shift to meet future increase in lumber demand. Factors influencing these shifts include changes in availability of timber supply, prices of sawlogs, competitiveness of lumber producers, exchange rates and developments in alternative markets for lumber producers in Canada and overseas.

The USLOS2018 study closely examines how reductions in harvest levels in British Columbia will impact lumber exports from the province and opportunities for lumber producers in Eastern Canada to increase shipments. It also looks at which overseas countries are forecasted to be supplying the U.S. in the coming 15 years.

Overseas shipments have been, on average, 4.8 per cent of total imports over the past decade. This share is likely to increase in the coming decades to reach a projected 6.5 per cent by 2030 in the base demand scenario and possibly as high as 35 per cent of total imports in the high demand scenario.

Source: Lesprom Network