Lumber is a type of wood that has been processed into beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes, but has many other uses as well. Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is a raw material for furniture making and other items which require additional cutting and shaping. It is available in many species, usually, hardwoods, but it is also readily available in softwoods. Availability of softwoods, such as white pine and red pine, is because of their low costs in the market.
In the year 2017, the North American lumber market was rapidly growing with increase in the capacity of lumber producers, accelerating production of lumber and growth of exports. The U.S. and Canada maintained a positive growth in lumber market due to increasing housing starts, urbanization and inclination of population for home repair and remodeling. These growth drivers increased the demand of lumber as a basic raw material for various construction activities.
The US dominated the North American lumber market with extensive production of lumber and enormous offshore trade. The presence of large amount of production sites in North America led to significant lumber trade in the globe. Although, various fluctuations in prices of southern saw lumber in the U.S. have been observed. Also, the trade disputes among Canada and the U.S. draws a major challenge for North American lumber market.
West Fraser Timber, Weyerhaeuser, Interfor Corporation and Canfor Corporation are the key players in the North American lumber market. Advancement in research and development for efficient production would show promising development in the market. The U.S. top lumber producers are Weyerhaeuser, Georgia-Pacific, West Fraser and Sierra Pacific. Canadian top lumber producers are Canfor, Resolute FP and Tolko.