Indicator: Production

Between 2016 and 2017, production of most forest products decreased slightly. However, there was no change in the volume of softwood lumber produced, and production of structural panels increased by 1.4%.

  • Production of softwood lumber was unchanged in 2017 from 2016. While demand was very strong for solid wood products, disruptions resulting from forest fires in Western Canada limited production increases.
  • The declining demand for printing and writing paper, including newsprint, means that mill closures take place periodically. Globally, there were significant closures of printing and writing paper mills in 2016 and 2017, helping to maintain production in Canada relatively unchanged. However, newsprint did not benefit from such mitigating circumstances, and production declined 8.6% from 2016 levels, following mill closures and conversions.
  • Despite production decreases in many forest products, Canada’s exports fared well in 2017. For more information, see the sustainability indicator Exports.

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

Production of Canadian forest products, 2007–2017

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Graph data
Table displays, in millions of tonnes, the production volume of newsprint, printing and writing paper, and wood pulp for each year between 2007 and 2017.
Year Newsprint Printing and writing paper Wood pulp
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 18.28
2012 3.87 3.31 17.15
2013 3.97 3.47 17.25
2014 4.01 3.26 16.96
2015 3.51 3.04 16.55
2016 3.35 2.99 16.51
2017 3.05 2.97 16.30
 
Table displays, in millions of cubic metres, the production volume of softwood lumber and structural wood panels for each year between 2007 and 2017.
Year Softwood lumber Structural wood panels
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
2016 66.86 8.73
2017 66.86 8.85

Why is this indicator important?

  • Canada is one of the top manufacturers of forest products in the world.
  • Production is one of the first indicators to be influenced by economic and market challenges.

What is the outlook?

  • Production declines in certain segments of the pulp and paper industry (e.g., newsprint and printing and writing paper) will continue and could be accelerated by trade disputes. Production of wood pulp should remain stable or increase in response to global demand.
  • Demand for Canadian softwood lumber and structural panels will grow in 2018 as a result of the growing US housing market, but production could be limited by a shortage in fibre supply (e.g., due to pest infestations and forest fires in Western Canada).

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

Sources and information
  • APA – The Engineered Wood Association. Quarterly production reports.
    • The production and consumption data of structural panels (plywood and oriented strand board) are from APA – The Engineered Wood Association.
  • Pulp and Paper Products Council.
    • Production and consumption figures for newsprint, printing and writing paper, and wood pulp are based on data of the Pulp and Paper Products Council.
  • Statistics Canada. CANSIM table 303-0064: Lumber production, shipments and stocks, by Canada and provinces (accessed February 27, 2018).
    • Data used for lumber production include total softwood production for Canada.