West coast's log, lumber exports increase in first quarter of 2011

May 25, 2011

A total of 413.1 million board feet of softwood logs and 224.9 million board feet of softwood lumber were exported from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska in January, February, and March of this year, according to the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station.

"The volume of softwood log exports was up 50.5 percent from 208.5 million board feet in the first quarter of 2010, while the volume of softwood lumber exports was up 53.1 percent from 119.5 million board feet," said Debra Warren, a research economist with the station.

Warren compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission and annually authors Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, a publication that provides current information on the region's lumber and plywood production and prices and employment in the forest industries. The 2010 report will be published soon and available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/publications/index.shtml.

Other highlights of this year's first quarter:

Softwood Logs

  • Some 104.9 million board feet (25.4 percent) of the first quarter 2011 west coast log exports went to Japan, 71.5 million board feet (17.3 percent) went to South Korea, and 220.0 million board feet (53.3 percent) went to China.
  • Log exports from Oregon and Washington totaled 379.5 million board feet, up 50.5 percent from the 2010 first quarter volume of 191.5 million board feet. A total of 9.9 million board feet of logs was exported from northern California, up from .4 million board feet in the first quarter of 2010. Alaska exported a total of 23.7 million board feet in the first 3 months of 2011, compared with 16.6 in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Douglas-fir accounted for 58.1 percent of these log exports; western hemlock, 26.5 percent; spruce, 11.0 percent; and other softwoods, 4.4 percent.
  • The total value of log shipments for the first 3 months of 2011 was $275.6 million at the ports of exportation, and the average value was $667.19 per thousand board feet. Douglas-fir averaged $770.96 per thousand board feet; hemlock, $569.24; spruce, $314.75; and other softwoods, $769.69.
Softwood Lumber
  • Some 100.3 million board feet (44.6 percent) of the west coast first quarter softwood lumber exports in 2011 went to China, 46.5 million board feet (20.7 percent) went to Canada, 17.2 million board feet (7.7 percent) went to Japan, 9.1 million board feet (4.1 percent) went to Taiwan, 8.1 million board feet (3.6 percent) went to the Philippines, 4.0 million board feet (1.8 percent) went to Indonesia, 3.3 million board feet (1.5 percent) went to Australia, and 3.1 million board feet (1.4 percent) went to South Korea.
  • Lumber exports from Oregon and Washington totaled 213.5 million board feet, up 54.2 percent from the 2010 first quarter volume of 115.6 million board feet. A total of 11.4 million board feet was exported from northern California, compared with 3.7 million board feet in the first 3 months of 2010. Alaska exported no lumber during the first quarter of 2011, compared with 0.2 million board feet in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Douglas-fir accounted for 40.6 percent of the first quarter 2011 softwood lumber exports; cedars, 5.3 percent; western hemlock, 16.5 percent; and other softwoods, 37.6 percent.
  • The total value of lumber shipments was $134.3 million at the ports of exportation, and the average value was $597.09 per thousand board feet. Douglas-fir averaged $725.67 per thousand board feet; cedars, $905.83; western hemlock, $532.44; and other softwoods, $443.73.
The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 425 employees.

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