Compared to 2012, the export of softwood lumber from the northeast dropped 30% in 2013, based on volumes reported via NELMA’s Heat Treatment Certificate Program. A total of 2.8 million board feet were shipped overseas last year versus almost 4 million board feet the previous year, primarily Eastern White Pine lumber. These figures do not include shipments of lumber to Canada as the final destination.
The top 2 destinations from 2012 swapped places in 2013, with the UK now leading in volumes received and China the second most popular customer. UK shipments totaled 1.2 million board feet and represented 43.5% of the overall lumber exports, with China receiving 1.1 million board feet (38.8%) in 2013.
The drop in exports from 2013 to 2012 was led by a dramatic decline in shipments to China, down by some 1.7 million board feet or -61%. Additional decreases were noted in exports to Pakistan (down by 271 MBF; -90%). However, significant increases in exports were noted for UK (+118%), Mexico (+110%), and Vietnam (+133%). In all, a total of 8 countries received Eastern White Pine exports in 2013, with Columbia and Kuwait added as new destinations.
The grade of lumber varied widely and included Industrial, Premium, Shop, P99, and No.3 Common.