Sponsored by Lane Powell

China demand strong for Oregon logs

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
1210_ATS09The state’s long-suffering timber industry is shipping more logs than ever to China as prices in that market rise while others remain stagnant.

The trend represents a growing source of revenue for an industry devastated by the downfall of the domestic housing market. But it could turn controversial. The export of raw logs from Oregon to Japan in the 1980s brought criticism from environmental groups and local communities that lost jobs when mills shut down and production shifted to Asia. It is now illegal to export raw logs cut down on public land in the West but the ban does not apply to private land.

To meet overseas demand for raw logs, the Port of Astoria in November began welcoming log ships after a 14-year absence. Westerlund Log Handlers of Bremerton, Wash., set up an export facility in Astoria in response to frustration over having to wait in increasingly long lines to export from Tacoma and Seattle.

In Longview, Wash., big timber players such as Weyerhaeuser have been shipping logs to China for some time. And in Coos Bay, once the busiest departure point for Oregon logs bound for Japan, China is the new destination of choice. “Prices are generally more attractive in that market,” says Kathy Budinick, director of communications for Seattle-based timber giant Plum Creek, which sells raw logs to brokers who export from Coos Bay and other Northwest ports.

Martin Callery, a spokesman for the International Port of Coos Bay, says the first vessel loaded with Oregon logs shipped from Coos Bay to China in August and a dozen more are expected to depart over the winter. Feeding the pipeline are a variety of small and large timber companies holding private land within a 250-mile radius of Coos Bay. Timber companies previously had balked at selling to Chinese buyers because they were offering “ridiculous prices,” Callery says, but now the price has improved enough to justify the sales. “Logs to China is definitely a new market,” he says. “We’ll see how long the market holds up.”

Another unknown is political opposition. Log exports have become a source of protest in British Columbia, where the Ancient Forest Alliance recently called for a ban on the shipping of raw logs to China. Many nations have banned log exports, among them Bolivia, Brazil and Indonesia.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

On the Brink

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.


Read more...

10 Twitter highlights from #OR100Best

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
100bestBY OB STAFF

Oregon Business held its  22nd annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon celebration Thursday night in the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

Raising the Stakes

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS