British Columbia's Coastal Forests, Hemlock Timber and the Japanese Housing Market */« Les Forets Cetieres De la Colombie-Britannique, Les Produits De Bois De Cigue et le Marche Immobilier Japonais »

By Edgington, David W. | Canadian Journal of Regional Science, Autumn 2004 | Go to article overview

British Columbia's Coastal Forests, Hemlock Timber and the Japanese Housing Market */« Les Forets Cetieres De la Colombie-Britannique, Les Produits De Bois De Cigue et le Marche Immobilier Japonais »


Edgington, David W., Canadian Journal of Regional Science


Abstract

The British Columbia (BC) forest industry comprises two distinct spatial components, the coast and inland regions. This case study documents recent trends in BC exports of coastal timber products to the Japanese 'zairai' traditional post-and-beam housing market and reveals the importance of the BC hemlock species. A model is presented based on the work of Michael Porter that provides a range of strategic options for private and public sector stakeholders in resource regions. During the early 1990s, the BC coastal industry was able to win a dominant market share based on the aesthetic qualities of hemlock. But after the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, the introduction of a consumption tax, and the overall impact of the Asian financial crisis, Japanese housing starts collapsed after early 1997 and exports of hemlock forest products slumped. Competition from European sources of kiln-dried or engineered lumber also led to an abrupt decline in coastal BC's market share of imported hemlock softwood products and a significant downturn in the BC coastal industry. The case study documents the response of various regional stakeholders, and especially the manner in which the Coastal Forest Lumber Association reacted to these structural changes on behalf of the industry with special marketing and research programs, assisted by the provincial and federal governments. This research demonstrates the importance of concerted public sector and industry action to address market uncertainty for resource regions operating in a volatile trading environment.

Resume

Apres une introduction qui demontre de differences regionales claires entre la cote de la Colombie-Britannique et les regions forestieres interieures, cet article se concentre sur les produits de la foret de cigue de la C-B et sur l'importance des changements dans les echanges avec le Japon dans la periode de 1990 a 2004. Le lien theorique concerne le role de la politique publique dans un monde en globalisation. Le materiel empirique de cet article examine le role important de l'association de la foret et du bois cotiers (Coastal Forest and Lumber Association-CFLA) et d'autres acteurs regionaux et acteurs interesses dans la reponse aux changements structuraux dans les echanges avec le Japon. La premiere partie de cet article fournit un cadre theorique afin de developper des politiques pour des regions--ressources pris du travail de Michael Porter, et argumente que son approche d' << avantage competitif >> est plus pratique que l'approche plus traditionnelle d' << avantage comparatif >> ou une theorie economique ou une approche basee sur l' << analyse de dependance >>. Un model est montre pour le developpement de regions--ressources base sur la notion d'un choix strategique dans l'elaboration de politiques, menant soit a une strategie de competition basee sur le faible cout des ventes de produits, ou une basee sur la differentiation et le gain du meilleur prix sur les marches, et consequemment engageant dans une strategie de valeur ajoutee a travers une cooperation d'agents des secteurs prives et publics et de acteurs regionaux interesses. La seconde partie de cet article explore comment ce model a ete applique a la region forestiere cotiere de la C-B et la vente de produits de cigue au Japon au cours des dernieres 15 annees. Des firmes individuelles ont trouve a partir de la tin des annees 1980 qu'elles pouvaient obtenir un meilleur prix dans le marche immobilier japonais grace aux proprietes esthetiques preferdes du bois du pied de cigue comme produits de bois de construction structurels a valeur ajoutee pour les maisons japonaises traditionnelles (<< zairai >>). Cette situation a change, cependant, suite au tremblement de terre de Kobe en 1995 alors que la cigue fut soudainement percue au Japon comme un bois de construction faible. Suite a cette periode, la cigue verte (non traitee) de l'Amerique du nord devint non competitive avec les nouvelles lignes de bois de construction importees d'Europe tels les produits en bois machine lamines seches au four. …

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British Columbia's Coastal Forests, Hemlock Timber and the Japanese Housing Market */« Les Forets Cetieres De la Colombie-Britannique, Les Produits De Bois De Cigue et le Marche Immobilier Japonais »
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