Top Ten North American Lumber Producers

West Fraser’s U.S. lumber production surpasses its Canadian output

By Larry Adams

April 13, 2023


In 2022, U.S. lumber production by West Fraser topped Canadian production, and 2023 appears to show similar numbers according to West Fraser 2022 Annual Report.

"We expect total lumber shipments in 2023 to be similar to 2022 levels as the transportation challenges that we faced last year are not expected to be as severe in 2023, offset by relative year-over-year softness in new home construction demand, the permanent B.C. mill curtailments announced in August 2022 and the indefinite curtailment of the Perry, Florida sawmill announced in January 2023. As such we expect 2023 SPF shipments to be 2.6 to 2.8 billion board feet, and in the U.S. South, we expect 2023 SYP shipments to be 2.9 to 3.1 billion board feet.

On January 1, 2023, stumpage rates decreased in B.C. due to the market-based adjustments related to lumber prices, and given the current commodity price environment, B.C. stumpage rates are expected to decline modestly in Q2-23. In Alberta, stumpage rates are expected to
remain low as long as SPF prices remain depressed, as they are closely linked to the price of lumber and respond relatively quickly to changes in lumber prices. We expect log costs to moderate in the U.S. South in 2023.

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60
facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. From responsibly sourced and sustainably managed forest resources, the Company produces lumber, engineered wood products (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, and particleboard), pulp, newsprint, wood chips, other residuals, and renewable energy. West Fraser’s products are used in home construction, repair and remodelling, industrial applications, papers, tissue, and box materials.

Tops in North America
West Fraser was the top lumber producer in North America, according to a study by Forisk.

West Fraser produced nearly 30% more softwood lumber in North America last year than any other company, according to Forisk Consulting.

West Fraser’s total output was 7,035 million board feet (MMBF) compared to Canfor, 2,469 MMBF; and Weyerhaeuser, 5,330 MMBF. The top 10 North American producers of softwood lumber combined for 37,637 MMBF in 2022 and accounted for 49% of total North American production. That represents a 5.7% increase compared to the total output of Forisk’s 2021 Top 10 producer list.