FEA Canada has released its annual “Billion Board Foot Club” list of top global lumber companies, once again led by West Fraser. As it has been since 2007, West Fraser is the world’s largest softwood lumber producer. In 2018, the company manufactured 6.6 billion bd. ft.
Fifteen firms made the list with a combined production of 36.7 billion bd. ft. in 2018-up more than 1.1 billion ft. from 2017’s 35.6 billion bd. ft. Global lumber production of the entire industry in 2018 reached 223 billion bd. ft. last year, an 8% increase. The 15 largest sawmilling companies’ marketshare dipped slightly to about 16%.
On 2018’s leaderboard, West Fraser was followed by Canfor, Weyerhaeuser, Interfor and Georgia-Pacific.
Although four of the top 10 largest global producers are based in British Columbia, all of them now possess substantial sawmilling operations in the U.S. In fact, they now operate more facilities in the States than north of the border. Collectively, the four firms own 49 U.S. sawmills (including joint ventures) vs. 38 in Canada.