Canada’s Forestry Industry 2017–18: Recent Prosperity Falls Into Question

The Conference Board of Canada, July 26, 2017
Recorded Webinar by
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Following its strongest showing in three years, production growth in Canada’s wood products sector is expected to slump in 2017 due to the incoming U.S. trade restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber. Profitability is also expected to tumble, as import duties cut into shipments to the U.S. and act as a drag on industry growth.

The sawmills segment, the largest contributor to the industry’s production, is forecast to see exports contract in 2017. Substantial employment losses are also anticipated in the sawmills segment, with a net loss of 2,200 workers forecast for the by 2018 because of the softwood tariffs. Non-lumber production—such as veneer, plywood, and other millwork—will help the industry to sustain modest production growth of 0.3 per cent in 2017.

In an uncertain business environment for a key Canadian industry, join Robert Meyer-Robinson for a five-year outlook for the Canadian wood and paper product industries. Based on The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Industrial Outlook, Robert will discuss the major indicators for the industry, including: production, employment, prices, revenue, cost, profitability and profit margin.

Webinar Highlights

During this 60-minute webinar, Robert will discuss the impact of the new trade restrictions and other key issues in the forestry sector:

  • U.S. housing starts—Demand for lumber south of the border will drive production growth. Starts are expected to grow from 1.2 million in 2016 to 1.7 million by 2018.
  • Prices—Recent increases in lumber prices support the notion that Canadian producers will be able to pass along a portion of their higher costs to consumers. Lumber prices are now 20 per cent higher compared to one year ago.
  • Pivot to Asia—The U.S. remains the dominant destination for Canadian wood products exports, the new trade restrictions could encourage additional focus on Asian markets, particularly China.

About Robert

Robert Meyer-RobinsonRobert Meyer-Robinson joined The Conference Board of Canada in 2015 as an Economist within the Industrial Economic Trends group. In this role, Robert is responsible for conducting regular research on several industries across the Canadian economy, and contributes to industrial outlook analysis. Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in economics and German from Queen’s University, and a Master’s degree in economics from Carleton University.

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