Canada - The federal government says softwood lumber shipments from British Columbia to the United States plunged 20 percent in March from a year ago amid railway transportation problems.
Global Affairs Canada says the country's largest lumber-producing province exported 514.4 million board feet to the United States last month, down from 614.7 million board feet a year ago.
First-quarter shipments from the B.C. Interior, which account for more than 90 percent of B.C.'s lumber exports, were 18 percent weaker than a year ago, largely due to transportation issues.
B.C. Coastal shipments were 36 percent lower.
Total Canadian shipments in the first three months were down 17.4 percent.
Shipments from Quebec, Canada's second-largest forestry producing region, were down 16.6 percent in the first quarter, while Ontario was 8.6 percent lower.
Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway say western Canadian routes were more affected by cold winter weather and unexpected volume increases that slowed traffic.