Disaster will change what Japan needs from B.C

Posted by Rumin Mann
April 19th, 2011

For Japan, last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami meant not only the loss of thousands of lives, the displacement of millions more, and the slow-motion nuclear disaster that continues to unfold. It also has massive short-and longterm economic consequences -a mixed bag of impacts that includes both the staggering cost of losses balanced by opportunities sure to arise from the rebuilding process that must begin now.

The analysis foresees similar tradeoffs of opportunities to export other things. There will be a shift away from commodities such as copper ores and concentrates, which made up 17 per cent of our exports to Japan in 2010, or unwrought aluminum, which was five per cent. But there will likely be increased demand for building materials, including softwood lumber, as reconstruction gets underway. There may also be a strengthening of what until now was a tepid market for prefabricated homes.

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