B.C.'s annual Asia forest products trade delegation tours Longhua Wood Products factory in China in 2015.

B.C. plots strategy for wood products exports

Sales to China decline as Canada-US softwood lumber talks near deadline for possible US trade action

Getting better access for value-added wood products in Asia and the U.S. is a big part of a new B.C. government wood industry competition strategy.

The strategy includes seeking exemptions from trade quotas for specialty lumber and wood products in a new softwood lumber agreement with the U.S., which expired last fall. A pilot project is proposed to help smaller value-added producers market in the U.S.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson said discussions between Canada and the U.S. for a new agreement are “intense and ongoing,” but preparations are being made to defend against U.S. trade actions that could begin after a one-year standstill period expires Oct. 12.

“I think it’s fair to say that we are still significantly apart in terms of what we feel needs to be in the agreement as compared to the current U.S. position, but that work continues,” Thomson said. “For us it’s not an agreement at any cost. It’s got to work for BC, and for Canada.”

According to customs data reported last week by Seattle-based Wood Resources International, Canada’s wood exports by value were down 18 per cent for the first six months of 2016, with a shift to U.S. sales in the absence of a softwood lumber quota.

“The biggest change in the past year has been the substantial decline in Canadian shipments of softwood lumber to China because of sawmills in British Columbia directing their sales to the healthy U.S. market,” Wood Resources International said in its latest quarterly report.

Susan Yurkovich, president of the Council of Forest Industries, said inventory data from China is difficult to obtain, but it remains a key market for B.C. producers.

Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, said the B.C. industry’s China strategy is to move beyond low-value lumber.

“A big part of this plan includes exporting our building systems technologies and building product technologies into countries like China to help them build more with wood in multi-residential and non-residential kinds of applications, which is good for trade and also good for the environment because of the carbon capturing nature of wood products,” Jeffery said. “We’re hopeful that our strategy will give us increased market share in China as the Chinese economy rebounds.”

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

BC Farmers’ Market Trail a one-stop virtual guide to the goods

New website assembles, profiles 145+ farmers’ markets throughout B.C.

Westshore Rebels game postponed due to poor air quality conditions

Games expected to continue the following week

Saanich police investigating sexual assault in broad daylight

Social media lit up with accusations incident took place at Regina Park tent city

Swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Most Read