Timber forecast: increasing US demand for softwood

Wood Resources International expects that US consumption of softwood lumber likely will reach record-highs by 2030, resulting in export opportunities for sawmills in Europe and Latin America, according to a new study.

Higher lumber demand within all end-use sectors (residential housing, repair and remodelling, non-residential construction, material handling and other) in the US in the coming years will result in continued expansion of sawmill capacity in the US and increased imports from overseas. The study forecasts that US softwood lumber demand will grow at an annual rate of 2.3% through 2030, in the base-case scenario. The study expects that the non-residential construction sector will grow at the fastest rate. However, consumption within the residential housing sector will continue to account for almost 70% of the end-use market.

The Canadian lumber producers’ market share in the US is expected to decline in the coming years based on substantially falling harvest levels over the next ten years. Thus, overseas supply of lumber to the US is forecasted to increase both in volume and market share. The expected major supplying regions are likely to include Brazil, Chile, Germany and the Nordic countries.

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