NEWS RELEASE · 22nd March 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
Final trade statistics for 2009 show that British Columbia softwood exports to China hit 1.63 billion board feet, more than twice the record 784 million shipped the previous year, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced today.
"China recognizes that B.C. is a reliable supplier of high-quality lumber with quick delivery times," said Bell. "Dependability, strong product performance, and a sharp marketing focus have led to record- breaking demand for B.C. softwood lumber. This winning combination will continue to see increased use of B.C. wood in China as we reach our goal of exporting four billion board feet by the end of 2011."
B.C.'s annual lumber shipments to China are also soaring in terms of value. Sales have nearly tripled from about $113 million in 2007 to more than $327 million in 2009.
Part of the success in 2009 was the significant volume of new lumber orders generated by B.C.'s largest ever forestry trade mission to China. Major breakthroughs were made as the trade mission helped Shanghai launch its new wood-frame building code, and signed an important agreement to demonstrate the benefits of wood for affordable housing. The vice-minister of China's Ministry of Housing and Urban- Rural Development also encouraged B.C. to collaborate on a six-storey, wood-frame apartment building in Beijing.
The Province, through Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. and in conjunction with the Canada Wood Group, has been working over the last several years to diversify B.C.'s markets by demonstrating new uses for softwood products.
Diversifying international markets to strengthen the forest sector is a key priority. The Working Roundtable on Forestry recommended that B.C. continues to place particular emphasis on emerging markets such as China, ensuring that marketing efforts are sustained, co-ordinated and based on what end-users want.