U.S. consumption of softwood lumber is likely to reach record-highs by 2030 according to a new study from ForestEdge and Wood Resources International.
The study forecasts that U.S. softwood lumber demand will grow at an annual rate of 2.3 percent through 2030, which will be higher than the report's projection of real GDP. The study suggests that U.S. lumber consumption will reach an all-time high by 2030.
From softwood lumber consumption in residential housing, repair and remodeling, non-residential construction, material handling, ForestEdge and Wood Resources project that non-residential construction will grow at the fastest rate and will increase its share of the total softwood lumber usage from just over 11 percent in 2016 to almost 14 percent by 2030. Lumber consumed by the residential housing sector, including repair and remodeling, will continue to account for the almost 70 percent of the end-use market.
The Canadian lumber producers market share in the U.S. is expected to decline in the coming years, with the biggest reduction occurring between 2017 and 2025. The outlook for available log supply to the sawmilling sector will be different in the two major lumber-producing regions in Canada, with harvest levels falling substantially in British Columbia over the next ten years.
Overseas supply of lumber to the U.S. is forecasted to increase both in volume and market share by 2025, followed by a decline until 2030. Based on the study’s lumber supply curve analysis, the major supplying regions are likely to include Brazil, Chile, Germany and the Nordic countries. In the study’s High Demand Scenario, which projects a very strong rebound in housing starts, R&R, and non-residential construction, overseas supply will be crucial and reach a market share of over 10 percent by 2030.
Wood Resources International is an international forest industry consulting firm.