West coast log, lumber exports increase in second quarter of 2013

West coast log, lumber exports increase in second quarter of 2013Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska jumped about 28 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of this year, totaling 540 million board feet, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. During the same time period, lumber exports increased by 5 percent to 230 million board feet.

The total value of logs exported from the west coast in the second quarter of 2013 increased about 34 percent to $398 million, while the total value of lumber exported from the west coast increased about 12 percent to $172 million, compared to the first quarter of 2013.

“Demand from China is the major reason for the increased log exports we’re seeing,” said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who compiled the data.

In the second quarter of 2013, China imported 349 million board feet of west coast logs, compared to 243 million board feet earlier in the year. At west coast ports, 65 percent of outgoing logs and 35 percent of outgoing lumber were destined for China.

Other highlights:

  • Total U.S. log exports in the first half of 2013 increased by more than 20 percent compared to the same period in 2012, while the value increased by more than 27 percent;
  • Total U.S. lumber exports in the first half of 2013 increased by more than 6 percent compared to the same period in 2012, while the value increased about 12 percent;
  • Sixty-six percent of total U.S. log exports were shipped from west coast ports during the second quarter of 2013, a 5-percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2012;
  • West coast lumber exports during the second quarter of 2013 represented about 27 percent of the total U.S. lumber export, which is nearly the same share as in the second quarter of 2012.

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 report is available online at http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42384.

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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