The Likelihood of Huge Reductions in the BC Interior Timber Harvest from the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic will Create Winners, Losers and Casualties

Posted by Rumin Mann
December 2nd, 2011

New Dynamics & Revealing Outcomes will be Modeled and Profiled in a new BC Mountain Pine Beetle Update Report to be released in early 2012

In the spring of 2010, International WOOD MARKETS Group released the first in-depth analysis and outlook on the impact of the mountain pine beetle (MPB) on the BC Interior forest industry. Based on the collaborative work of the project team and the detailed input and assessments of the three leading forest industry consulting companies in BC, the BC Interior – Mountain Pine Beetle Attack: Outlook to 2028 Report predicted that the BC Interior timber and wood products industry would be nearing its peak output by about 2015 as the full impact of the mountain pine beetle-killed timber took hold and despite the forecasted rebound in global lumber markets.

Key to the report was a conclusion that, as the MPB ran its course, a chain of events would slowly unfold: as markets improved from the doldrums of 2009, lumber and veneer production would increase in the BC interior; the BC annual allowable timber harvest (AAC) would eventually fall as government uplifts to the AAC to facilitate the salvage and recovery of dead pine were reassessed; sawlog and veneer log availability would be reduced due to dead pine shelf life; mills were forecast to close as a log shortage develops; BC lumber and plywood production would drop; pulp production would be threatened by declining wood chip availability; and log and lumber prices would rise as an expected shortage of U.S. lumber developed with the projection of rapidly rising U.S. demand.

While some recent reports simplistically suggest that the original WOOD MARKETS forecast could be too pessimistic, or that the BC forest industry would simply be saved due to improving U.S. and global demand for forest products with higher potential prices, recent events and new information regarding the impact of the mountain pine beetle suggests otherwise, supporting the earlier premise of the 2010 WOOD MARKETS forecast.

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