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Indicator: Forest sector secondary manufacturing

Generally stable, the secondary wood and paper product industries in Canada generated over $5.8 billion in real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. This represents a 1.3% increase from 2018 and follows a 2.3% decrease from 2017 to 2018.

  • Secondary wood manufacturing increased by 10.8% in 2019, while secondary paper manufacturing fell by 8.0%.
  • Secondary manufacturing accounted for 38% of the total contribution of forest product manufacturing to GDP in 2019, up 3 percentage points from 2018.

Lumber and paper are used in secondary wood and paper product manufacturing to make intermediate and final products, such as doors and envelopes.

Gross domestic product from primary and secondary wood and paper product subsectors, 2009 to 2019


Graph summary

Graph showing the gross domestic product (GDP), in billions of dollars, of primary and secondary wood product subsectors, and primary and secondary paper product subsectors.

The GDP of the primary wood product subsector was about $4 billion in 2009, and steadily increased to $6.3 billion in 2017. It declined for the next two years, to $5.2 billion in 2019.

The GDP of the secondary wood product subsector has remained steady at just below $3 billion, until 2019 when it rose to $3.2 billion.

The GDP of the primary paper product subsector was $4.5 billion in 2009, $5.2 billion in 2010 and then steadily declined to $3.9 billion in 2013. From 2014 until 2018, it was steady at about $4.7 billion, and then decreased in 2019 to $4.3 billion.

The GDP of the secondary paper product subsector was steady from 2009 to 2018 at around $3 billion. In 2019 it dropped to $2.7 billion.

Graph data
Table showing the gross domestic product, in billions of dollars, for primary and secondary wood product subsectors, as well as primary and secondary paper product subsectors for each year from 2009 to 2019.
Year Primary wood Secondary wood Primary paper Secondary paper
2009 3.9 2.7 4.5 3.1
2010 4.4 2.6 5.2 3.0
2011 4.4 2.7 5.0 2.9
2012 4.6 2.8 4.4 3.1
2013 5.1 2.9 3.9 3.2
2014 5.4 2.7 4.7 2.9
2015 5.6 2.8 4.8 3.1
2016 6.0 2.9 4.7 2.9
2017 6.3 2.9 4.7 3.0
2018 6.1 2.9 4.7 2.9
2019 5.2 3.2 4.3 2.7

Why is this indicator important?

  • Secondary manufacturing of forest products generates additional employment and revenue, which in turn increases the forest sector’s overall contribution to the Canadian economy.
  • Secondary manufacturing helps balance changes in world markets by being focused largely on domestic markets that tend to be more stable than the primary products geared to international demand.

What is the outlook?

  • There is a high degree of uncertainty in the demand for secondary paper and wood products for 2020. As the global economy deals with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for some secondary paper and wood products might increase (such as paper medical supplies and home office furniture) while many others decrease (such as industrial paper packaging and construction-related wood products).

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

  • Montréal Process: 6.1.a
Sources and information

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

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