RTG: How big is BIG in the lumber business

Wednesday 11 May 2022

(Russ Taylor Global) British Columbia, Canada can boast some of the largest lumber companies in the world - In fact, the two largest players West Fraser and Canfor are neck-and-neck for top spot in the world, each with over 7 billion bf (11.2 million m3, net) of capacity. Of the top 14 North American companies that have over 1 billion bf of capacity, eight of these are based in Canada and five are headquartered in BC: West Fraser, Canfor, Interfor, Tolko, and Western FP; and all have operations in the US. Lurking below the 1 billion board foot threshold is Teal- Jones; I expect that they will make the list in a couple of years when their five US South sawmills are all in operation.

In terms of lumber companies outside of North America, there are 12 companies that also have capacity greater than 1 billion board feet (1.6 million m3, net). The four largest are: Stora Enso, Finland (4.9 million m3); binderholz, Austria (4.8 million m3 includes Klausner USA & BSW); Segezha Group, Russia (3 million m3; includes IFR); and Mayr-Melnhof Holz, Austria (2.9 million m3; including Bergkvist).

There is one clear trend in the lumber business: consolidation is continuing, and the big companies continue to grow and expand almost exclusively in their own continents. And with higher prices, lumber companies’ war chests will continue to grow even faster to take on more acquisitions and/or capital investments.

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Source: Russ Taylor Global

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