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Canadian Industrial Outlook

Paper Products

This report examines the short-and medium-term economic and profitability outlook for Canada’s paper products industry.

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Download the February 2020 Outlook

Published: February 18, 2020 (18 pages)
By: Klaus Edenhoffer


Canada’s global pulp market share is eroding—Global pulp markets are growing, fuelled by China’s economic growth. From 2008 to 2018, global pulp exports increased by nearly one-third. Even so, Canada has not taken full advantage of the growing opportunities and has lost market share to major competitors, such as Brazil, Finland, and Indonesia.

Canada has lost share on the U.S. paper market—China’s emergence as a paper superpower means increasing competition for Canada. Consequently, Canada has lost share in the U.S., its dominant export market for paper products. From the mid-2000s to 2018, U.S. paper imports from Canada declined by 41.0 per cent, whereas imports from China increased.

Global market for pulp and paper product is shifting—The global market for pulp and paper products has become more fragmented. The shift toward digital media is reducing the demand for newsprint. The rise of e-commerce is fuelling the demand for package material while a growing middle class in many emerging economies is boosting demand for tissue paper, such as hygienic paper.