West Coast log, lumber exports increase in Q1

Posted: Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Juneau - The volume of softwood logs exported for northwest states - Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska - spiked in the first quarter of 2010, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

A total of 208.5 million board feet of softwood logs and 119.5 million board feet of softwood lumber was exported, the agency reported.

The volume of softwood log exports was up 43.8 percent from 145.0 million board feet in the first quarter of 2009, while the volume of softwood lumber exports was up 75.7 percent from 68.0 million board feet, said Debra Warren, an economist with the Forest Service.

In Alaska, about 16.6 million board feet were exported in the first quarter of this year, compared with 7.4 million the first quarter of 2009.

Warren compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission and "Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries," a publication that provides information on the region's lumber and plywood industries.

The Forest Service also reported:

• About 82.4 million board feet (39.5 percent) of the first quarter 2010 west coast log exports went to Japan; 69.5 million board feet (33.3 percent) went to South Korea; 6.6 million board feet (3.2 percent) went to Canada; and 48.4 million board feet (23.2 percent) went to China.

• Log exports from Oregon and Washington totaled 191.5 million board feet, up 40.1 percent from the 2009 first-quarter volume of 136.7 million board feet. A total of 408,000 board feet of logs were exported from northern California, down from 864,000 board feet in the first quarter of 2009.

• Douglas-fir accounted for 53.6 percent of all log exports; western hemlock was at 22.1 percent; spruce at 7.8 percent; and other softwoods at 16.5 percent.

The total value of log shipments was $201.3 million at the port of exportation, and the average value was $965.30 per thousand board feet. Douglas-fir averaged $674.01 per thousand board feet; hemlock, $544.94; spruce, $292.85; and other softwoods came in at $2,167.06 per board feet.

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