Lumber Versus Log Import Estimator


This Lumber Versus Log Import Estimator was designed to provide a mechanism to consider and to compare the opportunities of foreign manufacturers to import U.S. manufactured hardwood lumber instead of purchasing U.S. hardwood logs. The example, which is contained within this spreadsheet, considers a manufacturer in India examining the purchase of U.S. produced hardwood lumber versus U.S. hardwood logs.  The species being considered is white oak, and it is considered that either the US sawmill will saw, then dry and ship the lumber in a dry and rough condition or the Indian manufacturer will import and saw the logs. In this example the size produced in a random width nominal 10/4 produced to actual green rough thickness of 2 5/8 inches (2.625 inches) which after drying to 12% MC would be approximately 2.46 to 2.54 inches in thickness.  The US manufacturer producing for export would be producing grades of Select & Better, #1 Common and #2A Common for the export market and resawing (green) lower grade for domestic market in 4/4 sizes. The lumber price (delivered) for the Indian producer allows for direct comparison to the log prices with associated shipment and manufacturing costs necessary for the importer to produce the lumber. Yield estimates are made using the PROYIELD program module set to model a typical small band sawmill in India sawing the size and type of lumber being considered.

Downloadable Program and Example


Robert Govett, Professor, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


The support and assistance of Scott Bowe, UW-Madison; Terry Mace, WDNR Retired; Don Peterson, Renewable Resource Solutions, LLC; and John Dramm, USFS State and Private Forestry in development and review of this program is gratefully acknowledged.

The Lumber Versus Log Import Estimator is a product of the Increasing Value-Added Hardwood Lumber Product Exports to India through Informed Purchase Decisions project.  A cooperative effort between the University of Wisconsin Extension, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). 


Article: Lumber Versus Logs:  The  Benefits Of  Importing  Value-­Added American Hardwood Lumber