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Contact: Yasmeen Sands
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station

West coast log and lumber exports increased by 20 percent in 2013

Chinese demand fueled growth, year-end analysis finds

Log and lumber exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska increased by 20 percent in volume in 2013 compared to 2012, the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today. The total value of these exports also jumped, by nearly 37 percent for log exports and by 23 percent for lumber exports.

"Demand from China is the major reason for the increase in west coast log and lumber exports we saw in 2013," said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who conducted the analysis and compiled the data. "However, other Asian countries, like Japan, also increased their wood product imports from the west coast as well as from the remainder of the United States."

Compared to 2012, China increased its imports of west coast logs by 48 percent and of west coast lumber by 45 percent in 2013. Last year, total U.S. log and lumber exports to the country increased by more than 35 percent.

Other 2013 year-end highlights:

Fourth Quarter 2013 Highlights

West coast log exports decreased by nearly 11 percent to 459 million board feet in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to the previous quarter, and totaled $348 million. Lumber exports increased slightly, by 4 percent in volume, and totaled 291 million board feet, worth $207 million.

China imported 297 million board feet of west coast logs, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013, and 131 million board feet of west coast lumber, a 13-percent increase.

Zhou compiled the statistics using data from the U.S. International Trade Commission and Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, an annual station publication that provides current information on the region's lumber and plywood production as well as employment in forest industries. The 2012 report is available online at http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/45432.


The Pacific Northwest Research Station—headquartered in Portland, Ore.—generates and communicates scientific knowledge that helps people make informed choices about natural resources and the environment. The station has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and about 400 employees. Learn more online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw.

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