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Indicator: Exports

Canada’s total forest product exports have grown for the sixth consecutive year, up 7.6% from the 2017 value to $38.3 billion.

  • Export value of wood pulp and printing and writing papers saw the largest rise from 2017 driven by higher prices, growing 18% and 17%, respectively.
  • Softwood lumber was the only major forest product to see a decline in export value (1.5%) in 2018, caused by deteriorating market conditions in the United States and production curtailments at British Columbia sawmills.
  • The total export value of Canadian forest products grew 53% between 2012 and 2018.

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

Exports of Canadian forest products, 2008–2018

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Graph summary

Overall export decreased from 2008 to 2009 and have been increasing since then with a singly small dip in 2012. The proportion of softwood lumber of structural wood panels has increased through from 2008 to present while the proportion of newsprint and printing and writing paper exports has decreased. The relative proportion of wood pulp, structural wood panels and other forest products has remained stable from 2008 to present.

Graph data
Table below displays the export value, in billions of Canadian dollars, for: softwood lumber, newsprint, printing and writing paper, structural wood panels, wood pulp, and other forest products for each year between 2008 and 2018.
Year Softwood lumber Newsprint Printing and writing paper Structural wood panels Wood pulp Other forest products
2008 5.1 4.3 4.2 1.0 7.2 8.3
2009 3.8 2.7 3.6 0.8 5.3 7.3
2010 4.8 2.7 2.8 0.9 7.3 7.3
2011 5.2 2.8 2.6 0.8 7.5 7.4
2012 5.7 2.3 2.4 1.0 6.7 6.8
2013 7.4 2.4 2.5 1.5 7.0 7.5
2014 8.3 2.6 2.5 1.4 7.5 8.4
2015 8.5 2.3 2.6 1.6 8.0 9.6
2016 10.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 7.6 10.2
2017 10.4 2.0 2.1 2.4 8.3 10.5
2018 10.3 2.3 2.4 2.7 9.7 10.9

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?

  • Softwood lumber and structural panel exports to the United States are expected to remain stable over the next year, while offshore lumber exports are expected to decrease slightly.
  • Export values of certain pulp and paper products are expected to decline as demand growth in China slows and as most paper products continue to be replaced with digital media.

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

Sources and information
  • Statistics Canada. Merchandise trade data (special extraction, March 11, 2019).
    • “Total all forest products” includes only HS Codes 44, 47 and 48.
 

Table of contents — The State of Canada's Forests Report

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