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NEWS RELEASE · 16th May 2010
Office of the Premier
Tolko Industries Ltd. has signed another major purchase agreement with China National Building Materials as the market for B.C. forest products continues to grow at a steady rate in 2010, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

"I congratulate Tolko Industries Ltd. on this agreement, which is yet another example of how the trade relationship between the B.C. forest industry and China just keeps getting stronger and stronger," said Premier Campbell. "Lumber demand from housing officials, developers, and construction firms is at an all-time high in China. They want to do more and more business with us because China knows B.C. softwood products are good for the environment, cost effective, and highly adaptable.

China National Building Materials is the country's number one lumber distributor to China's construction industries. They now have two separate agreements with Tolko that combined are equivalent to two full mills' production and will support 400 mill and woodland jobs.

Tolko signed its first major supply agreement with China National Building Materials in November 2009 as part of the largest-ever forest industry trade mission to China led by Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell. The volume for this agreement is mostly to be supplied by Tolko's Quesnel operation. This latest agreement will be filled by other Tolko operations.

"The co-operation between the B.C. forest industry and governments to promote wood use in China are key to the success we're seeing today," said Tolko president and CEO Brad Thorlakson. "We look forward to a long relationship with China National Building Materials."

These agreements are for spruce-pine-fir lumber in a full range of grades and dimensions. China National Building Materials will distribute the lumber throughout China for a range of end-uses including concrete forms, remanufactured products for the apartment decorating and furniture markets, structuralframing, and re-roofing projects.

China is the fastest growing export market for Canadian wood products, with most of the lumber sourced from British Columbia. In 2009, B.C. lumber exports to China reached 1.63 billion board feet, double the volume of 2008, and valued at $327 million.

Exports to China in 2010 are off to an even faster start with lumber shipments to the end of March double what they were for the same three- month period in 2009.