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West coast's log, lumber exports increase in first quarter of 2010

June 7th, 2010
A total of 208.5 million board feet of softwood logs and 119.5 million board feet of softwood lumber was exported from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska in January, February, and March of this year, according to the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station.

"The volume of softwood log exports was up 43.8 percent from 145.0 million board feet in the first quarter of 2009, while the volume of softwood lumber exports was up 75.7 percent from 68.0 million board feet," said Debra Warren, an economist with the station.

Warren compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission and annually authors Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, a publication that provides current information on the region's lumber and plywood production and prices and employment in the forest industries. The first quarter report will be published soon and available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/publications/index.shtml.

Other highlights of this year's first quarter:

Softwood Logs


  • Some 82.4 million board feet (39.5 percent) of the first quarter 2010 west coast log exports went to Japan, 69.5 million board feet (33.3 percent) went to South Korea, 6.6 million board feet (3.2 percent) went to Canada, and 48.4 million board feet (23.2 percent) went to China.

  • Log exports from Oregon and Washington totaled 191.5 million board feet, up 40.1 percent from the 2009 first quarter volume of 136.7 million board feet. A total of 408 thousand board feet of logs was exported from northern California, down from 864 thousand board feet in the first quarter of 2009. Alaska exported a total of 16.6 million board feet in the first 3 months of 2010, compared with 7.4 in the first quarter of 2009.

  • Douglas-fir accounted for 53.6 percent of these log exports; western hemlock, 22.1 percent; spruce, 7.8 percent; and other softwoods, 16.5 percent.

  • The total value of log shipments was $201.3 million at the port of exportation, and the average value was $965.30 per thousand board feet. Douglas-fir averaged $674.01 per thousand board feet; hemlock, $544.94; spruce, $292.85; and other softwoods, $2,167.06.

Softwood Lumber


  • Some 50.7 million board feet (42.4 percent) of the west coast first quarter softwood lumber exports in 2010 went to Canada, 34.1 million board feet (28.5 percent) went to Japan, 3.8 million board feet (3.2 percent) went to Indonesia (mostly yellow-cedar from San Francisco), 4.9 million board feet (4.1 percent) went to the Philippines, 3.6 million board feet (3.0 percent) went to South Korea, 9.7 million board feet (8.1 percent) went to China, and 3.8 million board feet (3.2 percent) went to Taiwan.

  • Lumber exports from Oregon and Washington totaled 115.6 million board feet, up 53.8 percent from the 2009 first quarter volume of 62.2 million board feet. A total of 3.7 million board feet was exported from northern California, compared with 5.6 million board feet in the first 3 months of 2009. Alaska exported 0.2 million board feet of lumber during the first quarter of 2010, compared with 0.1 in the first quarter of 2009.

  • Douglas-fir accounted for 48.6 percent of these exports; cedars, 9.0 percent; western hemlock, 18.6 percent; and other softwoods, 23.8 percent.

  • The total value of lumber shipments was $76.1 million at the ports of exportation, and the average value was $627.26 per thousand board feet. Douglas-fir averaged $737.79 per thousand board feet; cedars, $911.74; western hemlock, $367.65; and other softwoods, $614.62.

Provided by USDA Forest Service

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