Log Exports

U.S. wins again in Canada lumber dispute: USTR

By Roberta Rampton and Doug Palmer
Reuters | WASHINGTON |
Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:59pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A binding arbitration panel has ruled Canada has again breached its softwood lumber deal with the United States, this time with aid offered by provincial governments in Quebec and Ontario, the U.S. Trade Representative said on Friday.

It marks the second recent win for the United States on the perennially thorny trade issue. It won a similar case at the London Court of International Arbitration in 2009, and last week launched a third case.

“This result is important for U.S. workers, firms and our softwood lumber industry. We look forward to Canada working quickly to implement the decision of the tribunal,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Canadian government was not immediately available for comment.

Lumber producers in the United States have complained for decades that Canada unfairly subsidizes its producers.

In 2006 the two countries agreed to stop fighting about lumber in the courts, and signed a seven-year deal that allowed for binding arbitration of any issues.

In the arbitration result announced on Friday, the London tribunal ruled that provincial grants, loans, tax credits and other programs in Ontario and Quebec did not comply with the terms of the deal, according to the USTR.

Canada now must impose additional charges on lumber exports to the United States from the two provinces, collecting an estimated $59.4 million, the USTR said.

If Canada does not comply within 30 days, the United States can impose additional import duties on Canadian lumber, the USTR said.

North America increases exports to China

The value of softwood logs and lumber exported to China from North America exceeded US$1.6bn in 2010, according to Wood Resource Quarterly. This figure, it said, was 150% higher than in 2009 and more than 10 times higher than in 2006.

Lumber shipments from Canada to China have risen seven-fold in the last three years and are expected to approach the four million m³ mark in 2010. Canada is now China’s main softwood lumber supplier, overtaking Russia in the fourth quarter of last year.

The US, meanwhile, is now the third largest softwood log supplier to China, after Russia and New Zealand. Whereas in 2007 the US exported less than 100,000m³ to China, the figure for 2010 was an estimated 2.4 million m³.

Posted in the Timber Industry Magazine on Jan 12, 2011.

US and Canadian log and lumber exports to China up over 150 percent in 2010, reports the WRQ

The value of softwood logs and lumber exported from North America to China reached over 1.6 billion dollars in 2010, which was 150 percent higher than the previous year and more than ten times as much as in 2006, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Jan 06, 2011 – Seattle, USA. China has come to the rescue for many sawmills and timberland owners in the US and Canada the past year. The value of softwood logs and lumber shipped from North America to China is estimated to reach over 1.6 billion US dollar in 2010, which is up dramatically from just a few years ago. In 2008, total exports were valued at 350 million dollars, while they were only 125 million dollars five years ago.

The increased demand for both wood raw-material and processed forest products in China has, to a large degree, benefited the forest industry in British Columbia and the states of Washington and Oregon in the US. It is interesting to note that the two countries have chosen different paths over the past few years. In Canada, sawmills historically shipped over 90 percent of their exports to US markets, but this changed as demand for lumber fell when the housing bubble burst in 2008. In the 3Q/10, less than 70 percent of exported lumber was destined for the US market. On the other hand, lumber shipments to China have gone up seven-fold the past three years and are expected to reach almost four million m3 in 2010, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. This makes Canada the largest softwood lumber supplier to China, having surpassed Russia in the 4Q/10.

Another factor that has had an impact on the higher Canadian lumber exports to China is the abundant supply of low-cost beetle-killed timber in British Columbia. Sawmills in the Interior of the province have increased their production levels lately, ending up almost 20 percent higher in the 3Q/10 as compared to the same quarter in 2009. Much of the additional volume has been low-grade lumber targeted for the construction market in China. An estimated 16 percent of the BC lumber production in 2010 was exported to China.

While Canada has drastically raised lumber shipments to China in recent years, the US has instead expanding exportation of logs to Chinese sawmills and plywood manufacturers. In 2007, the US exported less than 100,000 m3; in 2010 an estimated 2.4 million m3 was exported.  The US is now the third largest softwood log supplier to China, after Russia and New Zealand. The strong export market has caused sawlog prices in the US Northwest to go up more than in any other region of North America the past year, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.

Global timber market reporting is included in the 52-page publication Wood Resource Quarterly. The report, established in 1988 and with subscribers in over 25 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices and market developments in most key regions around the world.

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Wood Resources International LLC (WRI), an internationally recognized forest industry consulting firm established in 1987, publishes two quarterly timber price reports and have readers in over 25 countries. The Wood Resource Quarterly, established in 1988, is a 50-page market report and includes delivered sawlog prices, pulpwood and wood chip prices. The report also covers the latest developments in international timber, pulp, lumber and biomass markets in all major regions of the world, including Asia, North America, South America, Oceania and Europe.
Jan 6, 2010