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|Articles - May 2011|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
The quiet resurgence of the wood export market from Oregon to Japan is about to get a lot noisier in the wake of the devastating tsunami of March 11.
Oregon was a leader in log and lumber exports to Japan in the 1980s and 1990s. The business dropped off due to environmental restrictions on the logging of public lands, but it has rebounded powerfully since the recession ended. Log and lumber exports from the U.S. to Japan were up 21% to $694 million in 2010. Vanport International president Paul Owen, a long-time lumber exporter, says Douglas fir component shipments from the Northwest into Japan have been even stronger, growing by nearly 50% in 2010.
Vanport has exported to Japan since the 1970s and has been scrambling lately to keep up with Japanese demand. Owen says local mills that sell to Japan are “sold out months ahead.”
In 2010 there were 813,000 housing starts in Japan, compared to 587,000 in the U.S. The forecast for 2011 called for 870,000 new homes in Japan. That was before the tsunami hit, killing tens of thousands of people and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings. The tragedy has resulted in a short-term need for plywood and a long-term opportunity for mills able to meet Japan’s high standards for quality.
Oregon’s largest lumber producer for Japan is the 140-employee Warm Springs Forest Products mill on tribal land west of Madras. Operated by Vanport since 2008, the Warm Springs mill ships about 3 million board feet per month into Japan. Other companies around the state poised to supply Japan’s rebuilding effort are Starfire Lumber of Cottage Grove, Zip-O-Log Mills of Eugene and Portland-based Stimson Lumber. “Anyone who manufactures Douglas fir products for export will be in a strong position,” says Owen.
SDS Lumber of Bingen, Wash., in the Columbia River Gorge, recently resumed plywood shipments to Japan after a 15-year dry spell. Other timber companies still reeling from the collapse of the domestic housing market are eyeing the Japanese market with renewed interest. This includes businesses growing weary of exporting high volumes of wood at low prices into resource-hungry China. Japanese buyers pay a higher price because their building codes are strict and their needs are specific. The Japanese economy is in deep trouble, but this is a nation with a long history of recovering powerfully from catastrophes.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
Friday, June 13, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER
This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Watch the 2014 100 Best Green Companies keynote speech by Eric Friedenwald-Fishman.
Monday, June 16, 2014
The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Oregon Business magazine's "Green Your Workplace" seminar featured a panel of sustainability experts from small, medium and large organizations. The seminar drew 70 people and took place in the Nines Hotel this morning.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
In 2013, Gallup published a poll showing that 70% of U.S. employees were “disengaged” in their jobs, costing companies $450-$550 billion a year in poor performance.
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