As lumber traders across North America land in Las Vegas this afternoon for the 2013 NAWLA Traders Market, there’s plenty of industry news to peruse. For starters, while the majority of B.C. lumber exported to China continues to be low-grade, The Vancouver Sun confirms here today that there has been a 12% year-over-year increase in higher grade shipments for wood-frame construction. “Efforts by B.C. to introduce wood-frame construction – including the use of roof-building systems and infill and exterior walls in apartment construction – are beginning to gain wider acceptance.”
In the same paper, another report here reveals that China’s interior is an untapped market for B.C. lumber. “In the interior you have what the Chinese refer to as small cities of 10 million people where there is virtually no Canadian lumber yet,” explains Wayne Guthrie, Senior VP of Sales at Canfor. “We view that as a huge opportunity over the next five years.” Forbes tells us that the Chinese government is pouring money into interior infrastructure, which bodes well for B.C. “Yes, there is Russian lumber, but it is coming a long way to get to central China,” adds Guthrie.
Speaking of Russia, an explosive report here at NPR leads us to an undercover investigation some might find worthy of 3-D glasses in an IMAX Theatre one day (see video below). With long term projections of scarcity for wood fibre in mind, the growing frequency of these disturbing stories surrounding exploitation of the world forest is apparent.