In fiscal years 2012 to 2014, log exports of BC accelerated, measuring10 times the volume of raw timber shipped in the three final years of the nineties. In the last five years, the volume of logs exports more than quadrupled from the volumes shipped out of province in the last five years of NDP administration.
The following Northern Insight article was first published April 17, 2014.
Yes, things were different in the nineties. In three years ended 1998, log exports totaled little more than $200 million but in 2011-2013, the value was nearly $1 billion. However, growth has not come without consequences.
“While one Canfor mill shuts down, another opens up, in China.”
“The constant flow of B.C. logs to overseas sawmills is hurting local custom cutters and lumber remanufacturers who rely on the fibre. They are finding it hard to source what keeps them in business…”
“…West Fraser announced that it will close its mill in Houston, B.C., by mid-2014, while Canfor plans to shut down its mill in Quesnel, B.C., next March…”
“We found that the specialty mills …contributed more jobs per volume of wood consumed and produced, produced more diverse primary and value-added wood products, targeted more diverse markets, and did more trading in logs of different species…
“Although all these activities resulted in more logs flowing toward their highest value use, we found that the specialty mills lacked a secure and adequate timber supply…”