Canada’s forest industry is a major exporting sector, accounting for almost 6% of all Canadian exports in 2014, totaling $31 billion.
Over the past six years, forest products have contributed to 8-10% of the manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, forestry creates more jobs and contributes to the balance of trade for every dollar of value added more than the minerals and metals sector, as well as the energy sector.
Global trade and innovation
While the U.S. market remains the main destination for Canadian forest products, the globalization of trade has reduced our dependency on this market; our forest products exports have fallen from 78% in 2003, to 65% in 2014. However, with the ongoing recovery of the U.S. economy, demand from this market should continue to stimulate Canada’s forest sector in the coming years.
Also stimulating and transforming the sector are new and innovative forest products, materials, and services. These include new building materials, such as cross-laminated timber; biofuels that can be substituted for fossil fuels; and biochemicals that can be used to produce bio-based pharmaceuticals, biodegradable plastics, personal care products and industrial chemicals.
For a more in-depth understanding of the economic impact and contributions of Canada’s forest industry, visit the Natural Resources Canada website and download the 25th edition of The State of Canada’s Forests report.