Tuesday, August 14, 2012

West's timber industry booming, mainly via exports

The timber industry is making a comeback in Western states, and boosting the economies of rural towns in the process. Demand for timber used in construction plummeted when the housing market crashed in 2009, and it's been slow to recover. But, as Justin Scheck of The Wall Street Journal reports, the "boom-trend" is "part of a West Coast logging rebound" driven mostly by exports.

Overseas wood shipments more than doubled from 2008 to 2011, according to RISI International Wood Markets Group, a timber research group, and U.S. Forest Service data shows log exports increasing by 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012, Scheck reports. The increase has reopened some sawmills, raising employment in rural areas and causing "an uptick in local spending and new stores," Scheck reports. (Read more)

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