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China buys bug-infested spruce from Germany, spurning Canada

Yet, Beijing complains that Canadian lumber plagued with insects

HAMBURG -- The bark beetle has been a headache for Andreas Voss, chief wood marketer of Germany's most populous federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia, but recently things turned for the better. An infestation of the pest in the state's spruce forests has created unsalable volumes of lumber until China emerged as a buyer.

North Rhine-Westphalia spruce forests have been hit by a double whammy over the last three years -- unseasonably dry weather interspersed with fierce storms that created the perfect breeding grounds for the bark beetle. Since 2018, 21 million cubic meters of spruce trees have become infested.

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