Seattle, WA -- US softwood lumber demand is expected to continue its upward trajectory
from the lows of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, reaching an all-time high by mid 2020s, according to a newly released US Lumber Outlook Study by ForestEdge LLC and
Wood Resources International LLC (USLOS2018). In the study’s base case scenario,
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% in
2016 to 14% 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%
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 US in the coming 15 years.
Overseas shipments have been, on average, 4.8 percent of total imports over the past decade. This share is likely to increase in the coming decades to reach a projected 6.5% by 2030 in the base demand scenario and possibly as high as 35% of total imports in the high demand scenario.
The main contents of the comprehensive 218-page study include:
• Demand forecasts of softwood lumber in the US from 2017 to 2030, including a
detailed analysis of the outlook for lumber consumption in all lumber end-use
categories in the US market.
• Projected domestic and international sources that will meet US softwood lumber
demand from 2017 to 2030. This section includes detailed regional and country
profiles analyzing future lumber production levels and export potential based on
log availability, sawlog prices and competitiveness of regional sawmills.
• Supply Curve Analysis. Alternative scenarios of lumber supply and demand are
presented on a delivered cost basis to identify the most likely supplying regions to
the US by 2025 and 2030.
• Conclusions and Sensitivities. Various demand scenarios and sensitivities around
exchange rates are included, as well as an alternative supply scenario where lumber
supply in the US South is lower and Canada is forecasted to be higher than in the
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