SEATTLE — The value of softwood logs and lumber exported from North America to China reached more than $1.6 billion in 2010, 150 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 times as much as in 2006, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

In 2008, total exports were valued at $350 million; five years ago they were at $125 million.

According to Wood Resource Quarterly, increased demand for both wood and processed forest products in China has, to a large degree, benefited the forest industry in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. In Canada, sawmills historically shipped more than 90 percent of their exports to U.S. markets, but this changed as demand for lumber fell when the housing bubble burst in 2008. In the 3Q/10, less than 70 percent of exported lumber was destined for the U.S. market. On the other hand, lumber shipments to China have gone up seven-fold the past three years and are expected to reach almost 4 million m3 in 2010. This makes Canada the largest softwood lumber supplier to China, having surpassed Russia in the 4Q/10.

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