West coast lumber exports increase slightly
in the first quarter of 2012
U.S. log exports to Canada increase; while exports to China
USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Portland, OR: May 21, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. May 21, 2012. West
coast lumber exports increased slightly in the first quarter of
2012—just under 2 percent for a total of 234 million board
feet worth $156 million, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s
Pacific Northwest Research Station. Meanwhile, U.S. log exports
to Canada jumped by 43 percent to 255 million board feet during
the first quarter, while exports to China dropped by 9.5 percent
to 233 million board feet.
“About 85 percent of the West coast’s log exports
and 89 percent of its lumber exports came through ports in Oregon
and Washington,” said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist
with the station who compiled the data. “Softwood comprised
99 percent of the total log export and 85 percent of the total
Zhou compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade
Commission and from Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in
Northwest Forest Industries, a station publication that provides
current information on the region’s lumber and plywood production
as well as employment in forest industries.
- Although log and lumber exports from Washington,
Oregon, northern California, and Alaska slowed in the first
this year, U.S. log and lumber exports actually increased by
5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, to 715 and 731 million
- U.S. lumber exports to Canada and Mexico increased
- West coast log exports decreased by about
16 percent to 361 million
board feet, worth approximately $232 million.
1970 and 2011, softwood log and lumber exports from the West
coast varied significantly; both reached their peak
in 1989 and their lowest point in 2005.
- During this same
time period, the average West coast softwood log export totaled
about 2,234 million board feet, while the average
annual softwood lumber export totaled about 940 million board
The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon,
and Washington and about 425 employees.