British Columbia sets new record for lumber exports to China of 4.28 bbf as of November 2011, surpassing 4 bbf goal for year; sales to China make up 29% of province's lumber exports, behind U.S. at 42%
VICTORIA, British Columbia
January 18, 2012
– The province has set a new record that many believed to be unattainable. With lumber export sales of 4.28 billion board feet as of November, exports to China have already surpassed the province's 2008 goal of exporting four billion board feet in 2011.
Last year's export sales to China, with December still to report, are already up 74 per cent from 2010 and 200 per cent from 2009. Sales to China, now with a value of more than $1-billion, make up about 29 per cent of all B.C. lumber exports. Only the U.S., at 42 per cent of exports, is a larger market.
When the province challenged industry in 2008 to work collaboratively with government to increase export sales, B.C. was shipping about 700 million board feet of lumber to China. The three-way market development program between the province, federal government and industry targeting China and other growth markets for B.C. forest products is paying off. Since 2003, when the program started in China, B.C. sales have surged over 1,300 per cent and more than tripled in the last two years.
While critics have suggested the approach wouldn't work, the proof is in the numbers. The province is now taking this winning strategy for lumber and applying it to how we market and grow other sectors under 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan'.
Canfor CEO Don Kayne -
"Over the last decade, the return on investment has been obvious and staggering for our province, and we thank government for their founding presence and continued investment from 2002-03 to today. As we make the transition to wood frame construction in China, the potential for continued growth is tremendous."
In the more than 160 years since B.C. started exporting lumber, only the U.S. and Japan have previously imported more than $1 billion of B.C. lumber in a calendar year. Exports to the U.S were valued at $1.8 billion in 2010 and exports to Japan totalled $648 million.
The latest trade numbers for November 2011 show B.C.'s softwood lumber exports to China were worth $84 million, pushing year-to-date for the year sales past $1 billion, an almost 80 per cent increase compared with the same period in 2010.
In 2003, at the start of the joint provincial-federal-industry market development program in China, B.C. exported $69 million worth of softwood products to China and Hong Kong. As of November 2011, B.C. exports have passed $1 billion - an increase of well over 1,300 per cent.