Trade figures for May show the value of softwood lumber exported to China has surpassed the U.S., sending powerful signals about the importance of the Asia Pacific markets for British Columbia's economy and job prospects.
B.C. lumber shipments to China in May 2011 were valued at $122 million compared to the U.S. at $119 million.
May was a record-breaking month for B.C. softwood lumber exports to China with 746,000 cubic metres exported. From January to May, B.C. exported 2.8 million cubic metres to China, up over double from last year in both volume and value.
Year-to-date, the value of B.C.'s softwood lumber exports to all Asian destinations has now surpassed the total value of shipments to the U.S.
The Province and the forest industry have been working together since 2003 to diversify the market for B.C. forest products by expanding into China.
- B.C. lumber shipments to China in May 2011 were the largest monthly volumes ever, reaching 746,000 cubic metres of softwood lumber valued at $122 million and surpassing shipments to the U.S. of $119 million. This was up 157 per cent by volume over the same month last year (172 per cent by value).
- Value of B.C.'s softwood lumber exports to all Asian destinations in the first five months of 2011 - $776 million or 49.5 per cent of the total value of lumber exports year-to-date.
- Value of B.C.'s softwood lumber exports to the U.S. in the first five months of 2011 - $661 million or 42 per cent of the total value of lumber exports year-to-date.
- B.C.'s softwood lumber exports to China (including Hong Kong) of 2.8 million cubic metres from January to May are the equivalent of approximately 76,000 containers measured in 20- foot equivalent units or "TEUs".
- During the same five-month period in 2010, B.C. sales to Asia amounted to $464 million (32 per cent of total lumber exports), while shipments to the U.S. were $815 million (58 per cent of total sales).
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation