Increased demand for softwood lumber worldwide has pushed lumber prices higher, especially in the United States and China during the first half of 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly, published by Wood Resources International LLC.

International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year.

Of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, Russia, Finland, Austria and Ukraine increased shipments the most year-over-year during the first half of 2017. Russia alone, has accounted for 22 percent of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15 percent 10 years ago, according to the WRQ. Canada’s seven consecutive years of expanding shipments may reach an end this year with export volumes having declined 2.2 percent during the first half of 2017.

During the first five months of 2017, lumber production in the U.S. South bounced back after having declined during the second half of 2016. The total production output from January through May was 7.3 percent higher this year as compared to the same period in 2016, according to the WWPA.

In Canada, lumber production was up seven percent in the Eastern provinces during the first five months of 2017, while it fell 2.1 percent in British Columbia. The decline in B.C. occurred mostly because of a reduction in lumber exports to China by 10 percent year-over-year.

From Woodworking Network: