West coast log exports up, lumber exports down in second quarter of 2014

Aug 28, 2014

Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska totaled 515 million board feet in volume in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of more than 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today. During this same period, West coast lumber exports decreased by 4 percent to 247 million board feet.

The total value of these log exports increased by more than 5 percent to $390 million in the same quarter, while the total value of lumber exports decreased less than 2 percent to $183 million.

China remains a significant market.

"West coast log exports to China remained strong in the second quarter of 2014, increasing by more than 22 percent compared to 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 West coast lumber, however, continued to decline, dropping by nearly 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014."

Over 70 percent of the West coast's was shipped to China in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 64 percent in the first quarter of 2014, while to China dropped to 35 percent of the total compared to 42 percent during the first quarter of 2014.

Other highlights:

  • Compared to the same period last year—the second quarter of 2013—exports of West coast logs decreased by more than 4 percent and lumber increased by 7 percent in the second quarter of 2014;
  • In the United States, 56 percent of outgoing logs and 30 percent of outgoing lumber were destined for China in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 40 percent of logs and 35 percent of lumber in the first quarter of 2014.

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.

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