Canada records forestry export boost
Canada has seen a massive surge in demand for exports of its forestry products, particularly in the Far East.
The boost in trade with the Far East comes as welcome news in light of the massive decline in demand for lumber from the US. Indeed, British Columbia's forestry-related exports to the US declined by 56 per cent in 2011 as the country's construction industry continued to see a downturn in activity following the financial crisis.
Fortunately, growth in other markets has more than made up for this. The value of BC's forestry-related exports to China rose by a massive 1,114 per cent over the course of 2011, while those to Taiwan were up six per cent and South Korea up 52 per cent. Overall, total forestry exports to Asia last year surpassed $3 billion, marking the first time ever that they exceeded exports to the US.
Reports from the Now News Paper showed that Vancouver-based West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. saw Asia account for around a third of its lumber shipments. The firm's chief executive, Hank Ketcham, noted that this is up from virtually nothing five years ago.
Clearly the timber marketplace is changing, but demand is still very much on the rise and, as developing nations become more and more aware of the need for sustainable resources, this pressure to supply this demand is increasingly going to fall on sustainable forestry developments.