Lumber ready for the kiln
The sawmill industry consists of approximately 650 commercially licensed sawmills ranging in output from a few thousand board feet up to millions of board feet. Although there are a large number of commercial mills, the majority of the province’s lumber production, which was just over 60 million board feet in 2009, is produced by 7 larger mills. These mills, which account for 80-90% of all lumber manufactured in the province, have kilns to dry their lumber and chip their sawing residues for sale as pulp chips to the Kruger newsprint mill. While softwood production dominates the industry, hardwood lumber production has accounted for about 2-3% of total production.
Sawmill in eastern NL
In addition to the commercial licensed sawmills, there are about 750 domestic mills who periodically operate to produce lumber for the personal use of the mill owner. Since domestic sawmills are limited to producing a maximum of 6000 board feet of lumber annually they have little impact on overall lumber production. Generally, these mills combined produce about 2-5 million board feet of lumber each year.
Spruce log siding
Nearly one half of the lumber produced in the Province is sold to markets in mainland Canada and in the United States with the remainder sold into the local market. Because of the smaller tree size, a large percentage of the lumber produced is smaller in size and is used for framing lumber. In regions where trees are larger, mills produce wider and longer lumber which usually demand a premium price in the marketplace. Some mills further add value to their production by producing products such as log and horizontal siding, paneling, and decking material.