India opens door to lumber from B.C. Interior

Posted by Rumin Mann
January 21st, 2011

India has reached an agreement with Canada permitting imports of Canadian spruce, pine and fir (SPF), the staple product of British Columbia’s Interior sawmills.

The Indian market is small, but it’s a quality market, providing sawmillers here with one more alternative to the United States, where Canadian softwood lumber prices are always under scrutiny by duty-happy American bureaucrats.

The agreement permits lumber that has been heat-treated to be imported. India previously required SPF shipments to be both fumigated and heat-treated, which was too costly a process.

“This opens up the Indian market for a higher grade of SPF than we ship into the Chinese market,” said Brian Zak, phyto-sanitary specialist at Canada Wood. “It gives our industry one more opportunity to reduce reliance on the U.S. market.”

The new regulations came into effect at the beginning of the year, but curiously, it was Liberal leadership candidate Mike deJong who announced it at a campaign stop at Carrier Lumber in the northern Interior. His announcement was picked up by local media in forestry-dependent towns.

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