After 10 months, the value of B.C.’s softwood lumber exports have broken a new record, Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced Dec. 13.
“It’s encouraging to see the value of lumber exports to our top three markets have significantly increased over recent years,” Thomson said.
“I’m especially thrilled that we’ve again broken new records in China, it’s further evidence that all our hard work in that market is paying off.”
He said the increased demand for B.C.’s softwood lumber products translates to job security in B.C.’s mills and B.C.’s woods.
To the end of October 2013, the value of total softwood lumber exports to China reached $1.17 billion — exceeding the previous record set in 2011 when softwood lumber exports to China totalled $1.1 billion.
B.C.’s October shipments of lumber to China also broke new records for monthly volume (865,000 cubic metres) and value ($145.5 million).
The value of lumber exports to Japan and the U.S. to the end of October also have surpassed recent years’ totals.
Softwood lumber exports to the U.S. are at $2.13 billion (compared to $2 billion for all of 2012), and to Japan at $703 million (compared to $674 million for all of 2012).
The U.S., China and Japan are B.C.’s top three markets for softwood lumber.
The increase in value reflects both higher shipment volumes to these markets in 2013 as well as increased lumber prices.
Thomson led a trade mission of more than 25 senior forestry executives to Japan and China in October. Premier Christy Clark returned from her 2013 Jobs and Trade Mission to Asia earlier this month.
Council of Forest Industries president James Gorman said the increase in softwood lumber exports is a true indicator that the B.C. forest sector is on the road to recovery.
“This is also indicative of our ongoing efforts to build stronger ties to Asia and enhance B.C.’s position as the Pacific Gateway.”