Indicator: Exports

In 2017 Canada’s forest product exports were valued at $35.7 billion, a 3.8% increase from 2016.

  • Export value increased across all products except printing and writing paper and newsprint, which decreased by 8.2% and 10.1%, respectively, as a result of demand and production reductions.
  • Structural panels and wood pulp saw the largest increases in export value, up 13.1% and 8.6%, respectively. Both products benefited from strong demand and rising prices.
  • Between 2012 and 2017, the export value of Canada’s wood products increased by 42.2%.
  • 2017 was a challenging year for many Canadian exporters, with several ongoing forest product trade disputes involving key trading partners such as the United States and China. Nevertheless, strong US housing demand coupled with high lumber prices helped Canada’s forest industry post its strongest financial performance in the last decade. For more information, see the sustainability indicator Financial performance.

By value, Canada is the fourth-largest forest product exporter in the world, behind the United States, China and Germany, and the leading exporter of softwood lumber and newsprint.

Exports of Canadian forest products, 2007–2017

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Graph data
Table displays the export value, in millions of Canadian dollars, for: softwood lumber, newsprint, printing and writing paper, structural wood panels, wood pulp, and other forest products for each year between 2007 and 2017.
Year Softwood lumber Newsprint Printing and writing paper Structural wood panels Wood pulp Other forest products
2007 7,082 3,991 4,141 1,706 7,314 9,310
2008 5,096 4,264 4,171 1,026 7,202 8,299
2009 3,761 2,672 3,555 770 5,280 7,346
2010 4,841 2,652 2,797 905 7,280 7,309
2011 5,167 2,779 2,592 804 7,530 7,357
2012 5,723 2,321 2,423 1,048 6,750 6,816
2013 7,413 2,384 2,500 1,495 7,028 7,531
2014 8,316 2,594 2,535 1,415 7,500 8,398
2015 8,494 2,332 2,560 1,637 8,036 9,574
2016 9,969 2,203 2,248 2,159 7,613 10,176
2017 10,441 1,981 2,064 2,441 8,264 10,481

Why is this indicator important?

  • As one of the world’s largest forest products exporters, Canada is a key supplier to nations around the globe.
  • Canada has an abundant and renewable supply of wood that is sustainably managed. By exporting forest products, the Canadian forest industry meets the needs of consumers around the world while making a substantial contribution to Canada’s economy and balance of trade.

What is the outlook?

  • The export value of Canada’s forest products, especially softwood lumber and wood pulp, should increase as demand from our main markets (i.e., China and the United States) remains strong.
  • Export values for certain pulp and paper products, namely newsprint and printing and writing paper, will continue to decline as more paper products are replaced by digital media.

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

Sources and information
  • Statistics Canada. Merchandise trade data (obtained via Global Trade Atlas) (special extraction, February 16, 2018).
    • “Total all forest products” includes only HS Codes 44, 47 and 48.