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Fewer, bigger sawmills predicted

[ Canada ] The number of softwood lumber sawmills in North America has continued on a downward decline since 1995, while the size of the remaining plants continues to increase, according to a recently updated study by economist Henry Spelter with the American Forest Products Laboratory. It’s a trend Spelter expects to continue. The number of sawmills has dropped to 990, down from 1,311 in 1995, the first year the study analyzed. At the same time, the average output of sawmills has increased — climbing to 70 million board feet from below 50 million board feet. According to Spelter’s work, the number of Canadian sawmills decreased less — down to 364 from 419 (13 per cent) — than in the U.S. , where there was a 24-per-cent decline to 626 from 892. Employment has also decreased. In 1995, Spelter estimated that sawmills directly employed 115,000 people. By 2006 that had dropped 19 per cent to about 93,000.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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