The value of B.C. softwood shipments into the United States has plunged 25 per cent as American duties and lower-than-expected home construction south of the border reduce demand.
In the first half of this year, producers in British Columbia sent softwood worth $1.5-billion to the U.S., compared with $2billion in the same period last year, according to trade data compiled by the B.C. government.
The volume of lumber exports has also tumbled, with 6.9 million cubic metres of B.C. softwood sold into the U.S. in this year's first half, down 10 per cent from a year ago.
The slump in exports to Canada's largest trading partner underscores the tough times faced by B.C. lumber producers, including Canfor Corp. The company is the target of an unsolicited $981.7-million bid by Vancouver billionaire Jim Pattison to take it private.
The 90-year-old Mr. Pattison has a long history of investing for the long term and riding out the industry's downturns.