THE MARKET for B.C. wood products is expanding on the heels of an agreement between the province and China, signed July 7.
Forests minister Pat Bell said the new agreement with the Province of Hebei further opens a market in northern China to B.C. wood products and wood-frame building technology.
“Hebei Province is looking to B.C. for expertise and wood products to grow their wood-based construction sector,” said Bell in a press release. “This agreement provides an opportunity to showcase wood-frame construction in northern China.”
Demonstrations of wood-frame construction projects, such as a multi-storey apartment building, are planned to show the new developers and consumers how wood-frame designs can be suited for use in northern China. B.C.-designed wood truss roofing and updates for local wood-frame building code construction will be featured in the demonstrations.
Forestry Innovation Investment, B.C.’s international marketing agency for wood products, and Canada Wood, an industry marketing group, supported the demonstrations.
“The Hebei delegation is impressed with B.C.’s sustainable forest management, advanced science and building technology,” said Hebei vice governor Song Enhua.
China is now B.C.’s fastest growing market for lumber. It recently passed Japan to become the second-largest market, after the U.S.
B.C.’s lumber exports hit a record high of 1.6 billion board feet in 2009, valued at more than $327 million, or the equivalent production of six large Interior sawmills. However, sales volumes in the first four months of 2010 are already two-thirds higher than the same time frame in 2009.