BC exports forest products around the world.
Renewable BC wood is in demand
Renewable B.C. wood is in demand, providing carbon-friendly building solutions for the world. British Columbia producers have been supplying high-quality forest products to countries across the globe for more than 100 years. We have built and nurtured these strong trading relationships in the U.S., China, Japan, and Europe and are growing our presence in South Korea, India and Southeast Asia.


Our global market
B.C. producers know how to build and nurture strong trading relationships around the globe

USA: Due to its close proximity, the U.S. has historically been our primary market. However, as housing starts began to slow after 2005, exports to the U.S began to decline, and B.C. actively made efforts to diversify its overseas markets. Today, 53% of B.C. forest products go to the U.S.

China: In an effort to diversify our markets, B.C. has successfully established China as the largest offshore market for our forest products, with the value and volume of products to China increasing 20 fold since 2003. Today, almost one quarter of all B.C forest products go to China. Through Canada Wood COFI has a presence in two offices in China (Shanghai and Beijing) to support market outreach and development.

Japan: Japan has a long history of importing Canadian lumber. Today, Japan is Canada’s second largest overseas lumber market, and Canada is Japan’s largest supplier of softwood lumber. Japan builds over 100,000 wood frame homes and approximately 350,000 traditional Japanese styled post and beam wooden homes per year. Due to a decrease in single family homes and Japan’s aging population, the demand for wood use in apartment buildings and elderly care housing is growing. COFI supports this important market through its Tokyo office of Canada Wood.

South Korea: The South Korean market continues to grow in both volume and diversity of the products it imports. Housing starts in Korea are increasing at a rate of 5% annually while wood housing starts are increasing at a rate of 10%. B.C. remains Korea’s largest supplier of softwood lumber products, primarily structural products, exterior envelope products, and value-added products. COFI maintains a Seoul office of Canada Wood.

Europe: Europe is British Columbia’s fifth largest overseas market after China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Through the Canada Wood office in the United Kingdom, COFI closely monitors codes and standards as well as providing support to industry, trade, specifiers, designers and the public.

India: There is growing opportunity for B.C. forest products in India, which is the world’s fastest growing economy. Although lumber shipments to India are small, export figures are increasing rapidly in this market. COFI is working to promote trade with India and expects that India will become a major market for B.C. forest products.

B.C. forest products make up more than 1/3 of the province’s total exports

The B.C. interior is best known for its spruce, pine and fir species, commonly referred to as SPF. The highest-quality logs are used for lumber or other solid wood products, often used in residential and commercial construction. SPF has long been popular for use in wood-frame construction in North America, and wood-frame construction is expanding in Europe and Asia due to its economic and durable construction. Byproducts such as chips, sawdust, hogfuel and lower-quality logs are used for pulp, paper, panels, pellets and energy.

We work with partners to grow and expand our markets
COFI has been a leader in developing our markets overseas, having first set up an office in Tokyo in 1971. Since then, the B.C. forest sector has continued to work in partnership with Canada Wood, the B.C. Government (B.C. Forestry Innovation Investment) and the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada) to grow our overseas markets. We have advised on wood building codes and wood product standards in Asia, as well as provide training in designing and building with wood.

Useful Links & Resources

Fact Sheet: 
Forest Products for the World

Canada Wood Today

Export of B.C. forest products to China have increased 20 fold since 2003
Export of B.C. forest products to China have increased 20 fold since 2003.
B.C. is the largest producer of softwood lumber in the world.
B.C. is the largest producer of softwood lumber in North America.
Forest products accounted for 32% of Port Metro Vancouver’s container traffic
Renewable B.C. forest products ship to more than 100 countries.

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BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI)

1220 - 595 Howe St.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada  V6C 2T5

TEL: 604-684-0211
EMAIL: info@cofi.org