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High-value exports to China rise

Canfor Corp. (CFP), the second-largest North American softwood producer, is "excited" about the increase in "high-value" shipments of Canadian wood to China, said Wayne Guthrie, the company's senior vice-president of sales and marketing.

September 7, 2012  By  John Tenpenny

“We’re pretty excited about the shift in value,” Guthrie said today at the Bloomberg Canada-Asia Conference in Vancouver. “It’s been an exciting 10-year ride since we started in China with no sales.”

China is emerging as a critical market for Canfor, West Fraser Timber Co. and other Canadian wood-product makers after they were faced with losses, mill closures and layoffs following the U.S. housing collapse. Canfor’s exports to China have soared to 25 percent of total lumber sales by volume, up from 4 percent in 2008, according to regulatory filings.

The influence of Chinese lumber demand on North America’s wood-products market will get stronger as the U.S. home-building industry continues to recover, Guthrie said last week.

Without sales of 3 billion board feet of wood a year to China, “we’d have considerably lower prices,” Guthrie said.


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