Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Northwest has regained its title as the biggest exporting region of raw logs. Demand in China caused a big jump.

022212_logs_small.jpgMichael Clapp / OPBLogs stacked for export in Astoria.

Federal economists at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station say last year's log and lumber exports grew by 42 percent over 2010. West Coast log exports rose from $844 million dollars to nearly $1.3 billion last year.

Nearly half the log exports were to China, though the report found numbers weren't as strong in the last quarter of 2011.

Xiaoping Zhou is the federal forestry economist who wrote the report.

Zhou says, "The housing market it is kind of controlled by the government - it is kind of a little bit down in the last quarter of 2011, and that's one of the reasons that log exports are down a little bit."

She predicts that 2012 is unlikely to see another huge increase in log and lumber exports - but she doesn't expect numbers to fall, either.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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