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Utah Wood Products Industry Overview - 2006

Morgan Mendenhall, Extension Forestry Educator
Michael R. Kuhns, Extension Forestry Specialist


Based on the 197 surveys returned, 81% of the wood products industry in Utah is involved in manufacturing, largely consisting of cabinet shops, furniture manufacturers, and various other custom woodworking businesses. The remaining 19% is strictly involved in the sale of wood products, either wholesale or retail.

A conservative estimate based only on those businesses that provided annual sales revenue information, is that the wood products industry in Utah generates approximately $211-329 million in sales, with 21% of the businesses generating $1-2.5 million each in sales. Primary manufacturers (those manufacturing products from raw wood such as roundwood or chips) had annual sales of $52-82 million, while secondary manufacturers (those converting processed wood into finished products) reported $155-250 million in sales (these figures include considerable overlap of businesses that are both primary and secondary manufacturers). Respondents reported that they employ 2,860 full time employees and 345 part time employees. The top six wood products manufactured and/or sold according to survey responses were cabinets (50% of respondents), indoor furniture (41%), doors (26%), molding (26%), rough lumber (18%), and finished lumber (18%).

Of the 161 respondents indicating they were manufacturers, only three-quarters (74%) specified that their business was full time, while 7% considered themselves seasonal, working less than ½ of the year. The remaining 19% of businesses surveyed were either idle or did not respond to the question. Companies averaged 22 years in business.

Some of the most common services provided by these manufacturers included custom sawing and planing as well as various logging services (see Figure 1). Wood species used by these businesses most frequently included other hardwoods (poplar, oak, maple, ash, etc.) at 70%, followed by Douglas-fir at 37%, and other softwoods (pine, spruce, fir, etc.) at 36% (see Figure 2 for a full listing). The majority of businesses indicated they use less than 200,000 board feet a year, and 29% of them receive their wood from over 300 miles away, primarily from wood wholesalers (see Figures 3, 4, 5).

 

 

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Figure 1. Services provided by manufacturing businesses in the Utah wood products industry according to a survey conducted by USU Forestry Extension in Utah, 2005.

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Figure 2. Wood species used by manufacturing businesses in the Utah wood products industry according to a survey conducted by USU Forestry Extension in Utah, 2005.

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Figure 3. Volume of wood in board feet (BF) used annually by manufacturing businesses per year in the Utah wood products industry according to a survey conducted by USU Forestry Extension in Utah, 2005.

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Figure 4. Distance in miles (one direction) that manufacturing businesses indicated the majority of their wood came from in the Utah wood products industry according to a survey conducted by USU Forestry Extension in Utah, 2005.

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Figure 5. Wood sources for manufacturing businesses in the Utah wood products industry according to a survey conducted by USU Forestry Extension in Utah, 2005.