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.