menu-bgimg

What we can offer you

We provide detailed transactional data, cost benchmarks and in-depth analytics for participants in the wood raw materials supply chain.
  • Pricing Data
  • Benchmarks
  • Product Forecasting
  • Advisory Services
  • Analytics
Learn More

SilvaStat360 Platform

  • Price Benchmarks
  • Madison’s Lumber Reporter
  • The Beck Group’s Sawmill TQ
  • Timber Supply Analysis 
  • Global Economic Data

Explore Forest2Market's Interactive Business Intelligence Platform

Learn More

Industries

From biomass suppliers in the Baltics to pulp producers in Brazil and TIMOs in the United States, Forest2Market provides products and services for suppliers, producers and other stakeholders in the global forest products industry.

Learn More
x
 
Blog

Size Matters: New Southern Yellow Pine Sawmills Scale for Efficiency

January 22, 2019
Author: Bryan Beck

In 2012, things were pretty good for southern yellow pine (SYP) sawmills. Those that survived the US housing crisis and the Great Recession were making decent profits for the first time in years, most had their pick of the abundant timber supply, and the future looked pretty good.  In that year, the average mill was producing about 125 million board feet and they were doing it in only about 60 hours per week, which was more volume than they had produced before, and in fewer hours. Many were bumping up against kiln drying constraints and couldn’t produce more lumber even if they were to run the standard 80 hour week. At that time, only a few mills in the US South were capable of producing more than 200 million board feet in a year. 

It’s fair to say that SYP sawmillers weren’t content to rest on their laurels. Fast forward just a few years and things are currently changing dramatically. A rash of new sawmills has been announced across the southern yellow pine region, and most of them boast annual capacities of 250 to 350 million board feet. Existing mills are also expanding—adding drying capacity, running longer hours and upgrading equipment to take advantage of the plentiful supplies of SYP timber. 

The Beck Group projects that average SYP sawmill production levels will rise from 125 million board feet in 2012 to over 200 million board feet a decade later. How does this compare to other regions? The following chart illustrates the relative scale of sawmill operations in key production areas of North America.

 

Beck_Production

As the chart indicates, southern yellow pine mills will rival production levels of their counterparts in the US Coastal West region. However, large scale mills in the British Columbia (BC) Interior will continue to hold the top ranking for annual production per mill.   

This change in scale will have significant impacts on productivity and manufacturing costs, delivered log costs, and other operating metrics in the coming years. We will explore these effects in a continuing series of blog posts related to the changing dynamics of the North American lumber trade and the expansion of new southern yellow pine sawmills. We will also illustrate how Sawmill TQ can help sawmills throughout the US South improve efficiencies and maintain profitability in the coming decade.

 

The Beck Group Sawmill TQ

Back to Blog

You May Also be Interested In

November 20, 2019
US Forest Industry Performance: October 2019
US forest industry performance in September and October was recently reported by both the US government and the...
Continue Reading
November 11, 2019
Can US Hardwood Exports Outlast the Global Trade War?
In November 2017, we published a comprehensive analysis covering the Northeast and Appalachia that illustrated the...
Continue Reading
November 07, 2019
Log & Lumber Parity: Are PNW Producers Back in the Game?
It’s been a crazy two years for the Pacific Northwest (PNW) log market. Beginning in 4Q2017, prices for domestic and...
Continue Reading