Indicator: Production

Why is this indicator important?

As one of the world’s major forest product manufacturers, Canada’s forest industry not only meets most of Canadian consumers’ needs, but also supplies nations around the world. Production is an important indicator, since it is generally one of the first indicators to respond to economic and market challenges.

Canada is the world’s largest newsprint producer, the largest producer of northern bleached softwood kraft pulp, and the second-largest softwood lumber producer.

What has changed and why?

Thanks to the recovery of the U.S. housing sector, production levels of softwood lumber and structural panels continued to increase in 2015, by 8% and 4%, respectively, reaching their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis. However, pulp and paper production declined across the board, with production of wood pulp down by 2%, printing and writing paper down 7%, and newsprint production down 13%. The benefit gained by producers from a weaker Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar was negated by declining market demand.

What is the outlook?

Solid wood production is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future, supported by the recovery of U.S. housing starts. Pulp and paper production will likely continue to show mixed fortunes, with the consumer segments (household paper and packaging) faring much better than graphic papers (newsprint, printing and writing papers). The weaker Canadian dollar will provide a temporary buffer against global economic uncertainties and the continued global shift away from paper-based media to electronic media.

Production of Canadian forest products, 2005-2015
Graph displaying, in millions of tonnes, the production volume of newsprint, printing and writing paper, and wood pulp for each year between 2005 and 2015.
Graph data
Table displays, in millions of tonnes, the production volume of newsprint, printing and writing paper, and wood pulp for each year between 2005 and 2015.
Year Newsprint Printing and writing paper Wood pulp
2005 7.77 6.71 25.31
2006 7.12 6.11 23.44
2007 6.64 5.95 22.11
2008 5.99 5.27 20.37
2009 4.38 4.43 17.10
2010 4.64 4.07 18.54
2011 4.38 3.77 18.34
2012 3.87 3.31 17.15
2013 3.97 3.47 17.25
2014 4.01 3.26 17.25
2015 3.50 3.04 16.84
Graph displaying, in millions of cubic metres, the production volume of softwood lumber and structural wood panels for each year between 2005 and 2015.
Graph data
Table displays, in millions of cubic metres, the production volume of softwood lumber and structural wood panels for each year between 2005 and 2015.
Year Softwood lumber Structural wood panels
2005 81.14 12.22
2006 79.17 12.39
2007 70.55 10.18
2008 56.00 6.61
2009 44.23 5.39
2010 51.92 5.99
2011 51.94 6.25
2012 54.54 6.70
2013 57.51 7.13
2014 58.16 7.69
2015 62.97 7.97
Sources
Notes
  • Data used for lumber production include total softwood production for Canada.