According to official statistics, the US timber harvests were practically the same in 2015 as in 2011, coming in at 355 million m3. This appears to be quite low considering the log demand by the US forest industry. Analysis by Wood Resources International based on derived log consumption by the forest industry in the US and net log trade, indicates that the actual removals of industrial roundwood were closer to 411 million m3 in 2015, and 10% higher than in 2011.
The major reasons for the increase in log consumption over the five-year period include higher lumber and wood pellet production. Softwood lumber production was up by as much as 21% from 2011 to 2015, while production of hardwood lumber increased 28% over the same period. The wood pellet sector, which is concentrated to the Southern States and is targeting the European market, has increased six-fold in five years but still consumes just over three percent of the total timber harvest in the US.