B.C.'s annual Asia forest products trade delegation tours Longhua Wood Products factory in China in 2015.

B.C. plots strategy for wood products exports

Sales to China decline as Canada-US softwood lumber talks near deadline for possible US trade action

Getting better access for value-added wood products in Asia and the U.S. is a big part of a new B.C. government wood industry competition strategy.

The strategy includes seeking exemptions from trade quotas for specialty lumber and wood products in a new softwood lumber agreement with the U.S., which expired last fall. A pilot project is proposed to help smaller value-added producers market in the U.S.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson said discussions between Canada and the U.S. for a new agreement are “intense and ongoing,” but preparations are being made to defend against U.S. trade actions that could begin after a one-year standstill period expires Oct. 12.

“I think it’s fair to say that we are still significantly apart in terms of what we feel needs to be in the agreement as compared to the current U.S. position, but that work continues,” Thomson said. “For us it’s not an agreement at any cost. It’s got to work for BC, and for Canada.”

According to customs data reported last week by Seattle-based Wood Resources International, Canada’s wood exports by value were down 18 per cent for the first six months of 2016, with a shift to U.S. sales in the absence of a softwood lumber quota.

“The biggest change in the past year has been the substantial decline in Canadian shipments of softwood lumber to China because of sawmills in British Columbia directing their sales to the healthy U.S. market,” Wood Resources International said in its latest quarterly report.

Susan Yurkovich, president of the Council of Forest Industries, said inventory data from China is difficult to obtain, but it remains a key market for B.C. producers.

Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, said the B.C. industry’s China strategy is to move beyond low-value lumber.

“A big part of this plan includes exporting our building systems technologies and building product technologies into countries like China to help them build more with wood in multi-residential and non-residential kinds of applications, which is good for trade and also good for the environment because of the carbon capturing nature of wood products,” Jeffery said. “We’re hopeful that our strategy will give us increased market share in China as the Chinese economy rebounds.”

 

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Okanagan and Connector

Storms expected to develop this morning and intensify early in the afternoon

Update on South Okanagan-Similkameen national park reserve announced Tuesday

Environment and Climate Change minister Catherine McKenna will join others in Osoyoos

Police continue to investigate fatal highway crash

Accident between Summerland and Penticton on Tuesday resulted in death of motorcycle rider

Confusion over land ownership of property along Okanagan River Channel

There appears to be some confusion about ownership of two of the properties Coyote Cruises uses

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

VIDEO: Weekday weather update for the Okanagan Valley

Thunderstorms aren’t expected to let up yet

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Okanagan Indian Band hosts red dress event today

See Me, Hear Me, Remember Me honours missing and murdered indigenous women

Couple finds opportunities in Shusawp with technology and pastries

Shuswap Immigrant Service Society welcomes Hillary Paganessi and Simone Bardella

98-year-old French spy to recount Second World War story in Okanagan

Marthe Cohn comes to Kelowna to tell her story July 16

Letter: Proposed increase to lease the drop-off point

Proposed increase to lease of Coyote Cruises channel float is the drop-off point

Column: The pageantry of graduation

Kevin Styba-Nelson is a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School

Most Read