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New exports for Virginia lumber companies to UK

Staff Writer |
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced new export sales of Virginia wood products to the United Kingdom during a trade and marketing mission to the UK.

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The sales were struck between four Virginia lumber companies and James Latham, one of the oldest and largest wood importers and distributors into the U.K., the top customer of Virginia wood products in 2015.

The Virginia companies, Blue Ridge Lumber, Turman Lumber, Virginia-Carolina Forest Products, and W.R. Deacon & Sons Timber, were introduced to Lathams during a tour of Virginia hardwood operations by senior Lathams staff in June.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Office of International Marketing facilitated the visit following meetings in London between Governor McAuliffe, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore and Lathams staff during the Governor's trade mission to Europe in April.

Speaking in London about the new relationship between Lathams and the Virginia wood companies, Governor McAuliffe said, "I'm pleased to see our efforts to introduce more Virginia products into the global marketplace paying off for Virginia companies.

"We have built an excellent relationship with Latham over the past year after meeting with their team in London and inviting them to tour our sawmills in Virginia. After such successful negotiations, I am honored to be back in London to announce this new export relationship.

"Connecting Virginia producers of high quality agriculture and forestry products with international buyers is key to our continuing efforts to build the new Virginia economy and this deal puts us another step closer to making Virginia the East Coast capital for agriculture and forestry product exports."

Agricultural and forestry exports from Virginia were valued at $3.19 billion in 2015, the second highest value ever. Virginia's agriculture and forestry exports to the U.K. reached a new high in 2015, at $133 million of which about $110 were wood products exports.

Lumber exports from Virginia to the U.K. were valued at $11.6 million in 2015. The United Kingdom was Virginia's sixth largest customer in 2015.