Williams Lake Tribune

Softwood lumber exports to China shatter record

The value of British Columbia’s softwood lumber exports to China jumped 60 per cent in 2011, surpassing the $1-billion mark for the first time. Since 2003, lumber exports to China have risen by more than 1,500 per cent.

Total softwood lumber exports increased by seven per cent last year to $3.8 billion. The U.S. remains the largest market for B.C. lumber, accounting for almost $1.6 billion of exports.

Japan, the recipient of $648 million worth of B.C. lumber in 2011, is the third-largest market followed by South Korea. Exports to South Korea rose by 30 per cent to $55.6 million, while those to India climbed 327 per cent to $10.6 million. China now accounts for 32 per cent of B.C.’s total volume of exports of softwood lumber. Since 2003, at the start of the joint provincial-federal-industry market development program in China, exports to that country have risen from $69 million to almost $1.1 billion in 2011. In spite of the global economic slowdown, it is expected that B.C. exports of softwood lumber to China will continue to grow in 2012 as the Chinese government pursues its aggressive housing strategy.

Forestry is one of the eight key sectors identified in “Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan.”

The BC Jobs Plan builds on the province’s increasing trade with Asia by focusing on opening and expanding markets for B.C. goods in key markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and India.

“Our sales to China continue to be phenomenal and a testament to the enormous amount of hard work that has gone into developing the market for wood in China,” says Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and innovation. “With much of the global market still struggling, it is imperative that we focus on those regions where there is growth, in particular Asia.”

For more information, visit the BC Stats: Monthly Export Data Table at http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/pubs/exp/expdata.pdf or to view the Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan, visit www.BCJobsPlan.ca.

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