The value of Canadian and U.S. log and lumber shipments to China in 2011 will double to $2.6 billion from last year, as North American producers gain a larger share of the market, according to Wood Resource Quarterly.
The share of Chinese imports of softwood logs and lumber originated from the U.S. and Canada has grown from 4 percent in 2005 to roughly 18 percent in 2010. Some North American sawmills are exporting up to 40 percent of their products to China, WRQ said.
U.S. containerized exports of log and lumber in August grew 17 percent year-over-year, boosting total exports 5.4 percent, said Journal of Commerce Economist Mario O. Moreno.
The largest increase in North American exports has been British Columbia lumber, much of which has been killed by the pine beetle over the last 15 years. The value of Canadian lumber shipments to China is expected to increase from $55 million in 2005 to $1.2 billion this year.
While Canada has increased its lumber exports, the U.S. has ramped up its shipments of logs to China. U.S companies are expected to export more than $900 million of logs this year, compared to the $42 millions in logs they shipped four years ago.