Log and lumber buyers from Asia to visit Missoula this weekend


MISSOULA, Mont. - Log and lumber buyers from China and South Korea will visit Montana this weekend. The University of Montana said they represent 18 companies actively seeking new wood species and wood products.

Business leaders hope to spur buyer interest in Montana timber.

The buyers represent more than $300 million in international wood products imports.

In Montana, they'll tour local mills and meet one-on-one with wood products manufacturers. They'll visit Lubrecht Experimental Forest near Missoula. The buyers are now in Idaho for a conference on small diameter logs.

"They said 'We're here for business,'" said Craig Rawlings, the president of Forest Business Network, "It's all about research, and it all starts with research and that's how we already buy southern pine from southeastern states. We buy some logs and lumber off the west coast and B.C. and U.S. and those relationships all started on a trip like this."

The buyers, 15 from China and three from South Korea, will be guests at a reception at the University of Montana Friday evening.

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