Western lumber records worst year in modern history

Oregon was the top producer in the Western lumber industry's worst year for production in modern history.

Final statistics released today by the Western Wood Products Association showed 12 Western states produced 10.39 billion board feet of lumber in 2009, the lowest annual volume since the statistics were first compiled in the late 1940s. The previous modern-day low was in 1982, when 13.7 billion board feet of lumber was produced at Western mills.

Oregon's production was 3,829 billion board feet worth $875.7 million.

Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association spokesman Dave Schott indicated as bad as 2009 was, this year's totals might plummet further with the general economy and housing market both in the tank.

Low demand contributed to even lower prices for Western lumber products from 170 mills. The estimated wholesale value of the 2009 production was $2.69 billion, down 26 percent from 2008. Five years ago, Western mills produced 19.3 billion board feet of lumber valued at $7.7 billion.

— Greg Stiles

Share This Story