Forgot your account information?  |  Create a CME account

Canadian lumber industry may enjoy growth spurt

Published by Steve Coleman on December 21, 2011

Floating Canadian logs to markets other than the United States may start paying dividends for Canadian lumber producers next year.

A new Conference Board of Canada report says profits could double in 2012 and create 6,000 more jobs in the wood production industry. A recovery in the US housing market and increased demand in China and Japan are expected to lead to better things for the industry in the New Year.

"Canada has been diversifying its export markets away from the United States for several years, and gains in export sales will be responsible for industry growth in the next few years," said Michael Burt, Director, Industrial Economic Trends in a news release.

"The overall fragility of the American economy and continued U.S. softwood lumber litigation are contributing to Canadian wood producers' search for further export markets. Ongoing demand in China - and Japan's need for wood to rebuild following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami - will support growth in Canadian wood exports to these Asian countries."

Other markets have already started picking up the slack created by lower demand south of the border. Sixty-three per cent of Canadian wood exports went to the US between January and September, the Conference Board said. In 2006, the 86 per cent of lumber exports headed south.

Over the same period, the Chinese market has grown from one per cent of the Canadian total in 2006 to 14 per cent in 2011.

While demand is expected to pick up in the US, the decision to find new customers means American exports won't make up as large of a percentage in the future. Ongoing battles over softwood lumber have played a large role in convincing Canadian producers to find new markets.

Found in: news

National Office

Alberta British Columbia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia
Ontario Québec
Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan