NELMA Mills Produce Record Shipments In 2017

Total shipments of lumber from all NELMA lumber manufacturers for 2017 have exceeded previous record volumes, with a total of 1.53 billion board feet reported to the Association.  The 12-month record pace was led by the Northeastern dimension mills with 567.99 million board feet of shipments, a 10.5% increase over the previous record set in 2016.  Eastern White Pine lumber shipments also hit an all-time high with 434.46 million board feet, a modest 0.2% increase over 2016.  Great Lakes dimension mills actually lowered total shipments slightly (-1.5%) from the previous year’s record for a total shipment volume of 529.16 million board feet.

2017 marks the first time that over 1 billion board feet of lumber has been shipped from the Northeastern mills.  An annual shipment volume graphic covering the years 2007 to 2017 for the 3 segments is provided below:

Lumber Shipments on a 10-Year High

Reported shipments for the year 2016 from NELMA’s Northeastern Dimension and Eastern White Pine lumber mills have reached a new 10-year high as a total of 947.4 million board feet reached the marketplace last year.  This included 513.8 million board feet of dimension lumber, primarily Spruce-Pine-Fir species, and 433.6 million board feet of Eastern White Pine.  Both totals increased from previous highs set in 2015 by 4.0% and 3.1% respectively.

The overall total was 3.6% above 2015’s NELMA’s Northeastern high mark and slightly outpaced the total U.S. softwood lumber output increase of 3.4% from the previous year.  Modest improvements within the housing market and overall economy likely attributed to the increase.

Graphics are provided below that detail lumber production in the Northeast since 2007.

Q4 Total ShipmentsQ4 Dimension GraphQ4 EWP Graph

Lumber Shipments by NELMA Mills Continues Record Pace

Through the first 9 months of 2017, shipments of lumber from NELMA mills continue to outpace 2016’s totals.  A total of 702 million board feet of northeastern softwoods was shipped to the marketplace January through September of this year.  This represented 377.5 million board feet of Dimension lumber, primarily construction lumber stamped SPFs, and 324.7 million board feet of Eastern White Pine.  Both totals exceed the same period last year by 2.5% and the highest quantity of shipments in 10+ years.

A graph for both species groups is provided below that indicates the monthly trends since 2007:


Q3 Dimension GraphQ3 EWP Graph

10-Year Record for First-Half 2016 Lumber Shipments by NELMA Mills

Both Eastern White Pine and Dimension lumber shipments from NELMA mills reached 10-year record levels for the first 6 months of 2016 when comparing data from 2007.  A total of 471.7 million board feet of lumber was sent to the marketplace from January to June of this year, which included 251.3 million board feet of dimension lumber (primarily stamped Spruce-Pine-Fir south) and 220.4 million board feet of Eastern White Pine.   When compared with 2015, the previous high mark for both wood groups, Dimension was up 3.9% and Eastern White Pine increased by 8.4%.   See the graphics below for a monthly comparison for the past 10 yQ2 EWP Graphears.

Q2 Dimension Graph

Lumber Shipments from NELMA Mills on Record Pace for 2016

After the first 3 months of 2016, lumber shipments reported to NELMA by both the Dimension and Eastern White Pine mills are the highest for the First Quarter since 2007.  A total of 120.6 million board feet of Dimension lumber, primarily Spruce-Pine-Fir, and 106.1 million board feet of Eastern White Pine entered the marketplace during the 3-month period.  Both totals are some 12% higher than 2015’s Q1 shipments.

A graph for each species group is shown below for each year by month for 2007 to 2016.

Q1 Dimension GraphQ1 EWP Graph

Shipments Top 900 million for 2015!

Total shipments from NELMA’s lumber manufacturers in 2015 exceeded 900 million board feet (MBF), the largest volume reported since 2006!  Both Dimension lumber (primarily Spruce-Pine-Fir species) and Eastern White Pine lumber reached 9-year highs, with 494.0 MBF and 420.2 MBF of shipments reported to NELMA, respectively.  The year ended with a total of 914.2 MBF, up 7.2% over the same period in 2014

Comparing figures from the previous year shows that Dimension lumber accounted for the lion’s share of the increase year-to-year, with a 13% gain in shipments.  Eastern White was up from 2014 but only by 1.1%

The graphics below depict annual shipment volumes by year along with Dimension and Eastern White Pine visuals by month since 2007.

Total Shipments Graph Year End

Dimension Year End ChartEastern White Pine Year End