Logs destined for China stacking up on Port Angeles waterfront
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Stacks of debarked logs sit piled in the Peninsula Plywood log yard in Port Angeles late last week. -- Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Logs headed for China have been stacking up in recent weeks on the Port Angeles waterfront as suppliers face a softening market for exports to the rapidly developing country.

The problem is two-fold, said Grant Munro, owner of Munro LLC.

One is market based: demand for lumber for construction has decreased as much of Asia enters its rainy season.

Also, China has been unable to process the immense amount of wood that it’s importing.

“All of us in the log business have shipped a lot of wood to China,” Munro said. “To some extent, we’ve overwhelmed their ability to unload ships to get the wood away from the ports to the mills.”

Munro LLC is one of two Port Angeles companies that sell logs to China.

The other is Merrill & Ring. Paul Stutesman, log marketing vice president for the company, could not be reached for comment.

Munro said he expects a ship to arrive in Port Angeles to export logs later this month.

As of June, 12 log ships have left Port Angeles this year, according to the Port of Port Angeles.

In all of 2010, only eight ships loaded logs here.

“It’s been a gold-rush mentality,” Munro said.

The gold rush period may be over, Munro said, but that doesn’t mean that demand for Pacific Northwest lumber in China is going away.

“We think the demand is there longer term,” he said.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 10. 2011 7:57PM
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