(Updates with shipment increase in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and Canada may export a record $2.6 billion in lumber and logs to China this year, double the total of 2010, said Hakan Ekstrom, the president of industry researcher Wood Resources International LLC.
“The Chinese market has been really strong,” Ekstrom said in an Oct. 3 interview from Bothell, Washington. “They are building like crazy over there.”
Wood Resources’ forecast is based on exports during the first seven months of this year, the most recent data available, Ekstrom said today in a report. China got 18 percent of its log and lumber imports from North America last year, up from 4 percent in 2005, according to the report.
Shipments are up 70 percent this year to China, where lumber are used in construction, Ekstrom said. Demand for new homes is increasing as more people move to the cities from rural areas. Higher prices for lumber also is boosting the value of wood exports, he said.
Rising demand from China is easing the blow of a U.S. housing slump that eroded sales for wood products, Ekstrom said. Some sawmills in the U.S. and Canada are exporting 30 percent to 40 percent of their production, he said.
-- Editors: Steve Stroth, Patrick McKiernan
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