Pondering the future of America’s timber industry

Even before the United States and Canada began their recent fight over lumber tariffs, a fundamental shift in lumber production capacity has been occurring in North America to the U.S. Southeast. According to Wood Markets, softwood lumber production in the U.S. Southeast has grown by nearly 6% annually since 2009, greatly outstripping production growth in other regions in the U.S. and Canada. This growth is expected to continue, with production forecasted to more than double from 2009 to 2024. This production shift is largely due to favorable labor costs as well as sharp reductions in available softwood lumber in Western Canada, where supply has been sharply reduced due to the Pine Beetle infestation.

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