Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Tyron Venn

Commitee Members

Edwin Burke, Todd Morgan


Asia, business strategy, exports, five forces analysis, forest products, Shandong, SWOT analysis


University of Montana


Montana’s forest products industry has been experiencing declining production levels during the last two decades, with many mills struggling to survive due to declining harvest levels over the last two decades and the current low domestic demand. By diversifying wood product sales into new international markets, Montana wood product manufacturers would have an opportunity to increase their current production levels. To determine the potential export opportunities for Montana manufacturers in the Chinese wood product import market, a strategic analysis was conducted. The purpose of the strategy formulation for this research was to identify the position that Montana wood product manufacturers should take, in order to achieve the best possible sustainable competitive advantage for exporting their products to China. To facilitate this process, Montana’s forest industry core competencies were identified and aligned with Chinese wood product import market opportunities to highlight strong growth prospects for the Montana wood products industry. It was found that the Montana’s log supply strengths primarily exist in the Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, and lodgepole pine species, with the majority of the volume existing in small size classes (7.0”-14.9” diameter at breast height). The wood products that provided the best fit with Chinese import demands are dimensional lumber (2x4s), of these species. The predominant Chinese uses of these products are for concrete forms and furring strips, which are key components in concrete housing construction. The recommended target markets that Montana wood product manufacturers should pursue are the 2nd and 3rd tier lumber distributors that are located in the 2nd and 3rd tier cites of the Shandong province. It is believed that this market provides an opportunity for future growth and decreased competition from industry rivals. The best opportunity to increase total export volumes of Montana wood products is through the creation of a wood product export coalition, licensed as an export trading company. The creation of this coalition increases the total chance of export success for Montana’s wood product industry, while reducing the marketing cost and risk for individual manufacturers.



© Copyright 2012 Micah Scudder