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

EDITORIAL: No think-tank report cards for the Observer

Fraser Institute’s annual school ranking isn’t a good measure of success, editor Grace Kennedy writes

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Fraser-Cascade School Board votes to invest in protecting the future of its students’ hearing

Decibel monitors to be installed in secondary schools’ machine shops as a visual guide

Kent-Harrison Foundation celebrates 25 years

The foundation started in 1994 on the promise of a two-for-one donation deal

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read