West coast lumber exports increase slightly in the first quarter of 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. May 21, 2012. West coast lumber exports increased slightly in the first quarter of 2012—just under 2 percent for a total of 234 million board feet worth $156 million, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. Meanwhile, U.S. log exports to Canada jumped by 43 percent to 255 million board feet during the first quarter, while exports to China dropped by 9.5 percent to 233 million board feet.

“About 85 percent of the West coast’s log exports and 89 percent of its lumber exports came through ports in Oregon and Washington,” said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who compiled the data. “Softwood comprised 99 percent of the total log export and 85 percent of the total lumber export.”

Zhou compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission and from Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, a station publication that provides current information on the region’s lumber and plywood production as well as employment in forest industries.

Other highlights:

  • Although log and lumber exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska slowed in the first quarter of this year, U.S. log and lumber exports actually increased by 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, to 715 and 731 million board feet.
  • U.S. lumber exports to Canada and Mexico increased about 10 percent.
  • West coast log exports decreased by about 16 percent to 361 million board feet, worth approximately $232 million.
  • Between 1970 and 2011, softwood log and lumber exports from the West coast varied significantly; both reached their peak in 1989 and their lowest point in 2005.
  • During this same time period, the average West coast softwood log export totaled about 2,234 million board feet, while the average annual softwood lumber export totaled about 940 million board feet.

Table 1. West coast log and lumber exports (million board feet).

Table 2. U.S. log and lumber exports by country (million board feet).

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One response to “West coast lumber exports increase slightly in the first quarter of 2012

  1. Pingback: Lumber ‘Check-Off’ Launches Website | Wood on Fire – Topics of Lumber Industry

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