Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska increased by just under 2 percent in volume to 466 million board feet in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today. During this same period, West coast lumber exports decreased by more than 11 percent to 257 million board feet.
Also in the first quarter of 2014, the total value of West coast log exports increased by more than 6 percent to $369 million, while the total value of lumber exports decreased more than 10 percent to $186 million.
"West coast and U.S. log exports to China were stable in the first quarter of 2014," said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who conducted the analysis and compiled the data. "China's demand for U.S. lumber increased just slightly, by 2 percent during this quarter, but lumber exports specifically from the West coast to China decreased 17 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. East coast exports made up for these shortfalls."
Compared to the same period last year, West coast exports increased by 11 percent for logs and by 17 percent for lumber. Sixty-four percent of the West coast's log exports were shipped to China in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 59 percent in the first quarter of 2013. West coast lumber exports to China represented 43 percent of the total exports, compared to 37 percent during the same period last year.
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 latest 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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