US log exports from Oregon, Washington, Northern California and Alaska fell 25% year-over-year in H1, largely caused by weaker demand from China, finds US Forest Service report

LOS ANGELES , September 5, 2012 () – Weaker demand from China has caused a decline in log exports from the U.S. Pacific Northwest through the first six months of this year versus first-half 2011, said a U.S. Forest Service economist, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting’s EarthFix on Sept. 5.

Log exports from Oregon, Washington, Northern California and Alaska were down 25% year-over-year in first-half 2012, according to a new Forest Service report compiled by Xiaoping Zhou, a Forest Service research economist.

The Chinese government’s control over real estate development and the rising value of China’s currency has reduced the country’s demand for raw logs and milled lumber, and this could continue for “the next two to three quarters,” said Zhou, EarthFix reported.

One bright spot in the report was an increase in log exports to Japan, which saw a 22% year-over-year jump to total 231 million board feet in the first six months of 2012. At the same time, log exports to China fell by 38% to a total of 394 mmbf.

Lumber exports to China from the West Coast declined by 34% in the first half of this year versus a year ago, to total 147 mmbf. During the same period, lumber exports to South Korea dropped 43% to 4.3 mmbf and log exports fell 36% to 95 mmbf.

Calculating the values in first-half 2012, the report found that total log exports totaled US$461 million and total lumber exports totaled $287 million, which were down year-over-year by 32% and 14%, respectively, reported EarthFix.

The primary source of this article is EarthFix, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 5, 2012.

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