Canadian Manufacturing

B.C. lumber exports to China fall for first time in nearly a decade

Softwood lumber exports to China fell five per cent in 2014, marking first annual decrease in shipments since 2005

VANCOUVER—Shipments of British Columbia softwood lumber to China fell five per cent last year, marking the first annual decrease in nearly a decade.

More than 7.5 million cubic metres of lumber valued at $1.4 billion was shipped to China in 2014, according to the province’s statistics agency.

That compared with 7.9 million cubic metres worth $1.39 billion in 2013.

China has been an increasingly important customer for Canadian wood for about a decade, picking up some of the slack as exports to the United States waned.

In 2005, just 251,000 cubic metres valued at $54 million was sent to China.

Meanwhile, U.S. exports grew for a fourth consecutive year in 2014, increasing 6.4 per cent to 14.5 million cubic metres.

The shipped lumber was valued at more than $3 billion, the most since 2007.

About 56 per cent of B.C. lumber exports heads south of the border.

Globally, B.C. lumber exports totalled 25.8 million cubic metres worth $5.75 billion last year.

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