Slowdown seen in sales of B.C. lumber to China
According to an article in The Globe and Mail, sales of British Columbia lumber to China have declined dramatically — a major reversal from the strong sales of 2011.
Analysts continue to expect more growth in 2012, but Statistics Canada estimated a mere $67 million in B.C.-to-China lumber sales in December, down 36% from the same month in the previous year.
Canada lumber companies — including Canfor, whose CEO Don Kayne visited China last week with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper — look to China as an increasingly important trading partner given the lack of construction in the United States.
Remodeling slows during the holidays
Residential remodeling activity rose 22.8% year-over-year in December 2011, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, a national database of building permit data. Residential remodels in December were down month-over-month by 7.6% but up year-over-year 23.6 points from the December 2010 value of 103.8.
All regions showed losses in month-over-month figures. In December 2011, the West declined 5.3%, the Midwest 13.8%, the Northeast 1.3% and the South 5.8%. Regions that showed annual gains from December 2010 were the West (31.7%), the Midwest (9.8%) and the South (5%). The Northeast dropped again by 3%.
“Remodeling activity slowed from November to December 2011 as it did in 2010 ─ an expected change seen in previous years around the holidays,” said Joe Emison, VP research and development at BuildFax. “The BuildFax Remodeling Index is still showing notable year-over-year growth,” he added.
California lumberyard damaged by fire
Sparks from a panel saw may have caused approximately $85,000 worth of damage to a Northern California lumberyard, according to an article in the Marin Independent Journal.
Fire trucks were called to San Rafael Lumber and Building Supply at 2:45 a.m. on Feb. 10, the newspaper reported, and found a large amount of construction material on the exterior of the main structure ablaze. The fire had also moved into an office display area attached to the main building.
Investigators believe that an electrical malfunction of a panel saw sent sparks into adjacent wood shaving, sawdust and other combustible material.
Some 35 firefighters were involved in the putting out the blaze. Damage was estimated at $50,000 to structures and $35,000 to inventory and contents. The main building was protected by an overhead fire sprinklers.