In aggregate, 2015 was a similar year to 2014 for BC’s forest products sector, with a mix of “ups” and “downs”, said the BC Ministry of Forests “Economic State of the Forest Sector 2015” report, released Thursday.
BC’s forest sector manufacturing sales increased slightly in 2015, though many product prices fell. Sales gains were almost entirely due to non-lumber solid wood products.
British Columbia Economic State of the Forests 2015
- In aggregate, 2015 was a similar year to 2014, with a mix of “ups” and “downs” that saw the sector come out a bit ahead of 2014.
- BC’s forest sector manufacturing sales increased slightly in 2015, though many product prices fell. Sales gains were almost entirely due to non-lumber solid wood products.
- The US market continued to gradually improve, as seen in the US housing market and higher BC forest sector exports to the US.
- China continued as the second largest export market for BC’s forest sector. Lumber and log export values and volumes fell, but they improved for pulp.
- Employment increased slightly in 2015.
- The BC forest sector continues to recover from 2009, the sector’s worst year of the recession, and one of the worst years for BC forestry in recent history.
B.C. Manufactured Forest Product Sales and Forest Exports
- Wood Products, especially Lumber: In 2015, BC produced 31.2 million cubic metres of lumber, or 50% of Canada’s total softwood lumber production. BC sawmill sales (primarily lumber) were CA$4.9 billion in 2015, or 57% of total Wood Product Manufacturing sales in BC.
- Pulp and Paper Products: BC pulp mills had sales of CA$2.6 billion in 2015, or 57% of total Paper Manufacturing sales in BC.
- Logs: In 2015, 68.5 million cubic metres of logs were harvested. Exports of 5.6 million cubic metres (8.1% of harvest), mostly from coastal areas, were worth CA$666 million.
- Wood Product-Pellets: BC exported 1.26 million tonnes of wood pellets worth CA$201 million. The UK was the primary destination by weight (80%), followed by Italy (6.7%), Japan (6.4%), and South Korea (3.9%).
BC Forest Product Exports by Market
- The US, China, and Japan are the top three export markets for the BC forest sector.
- The US is the largest market and has improved substantially since 2009. It still has significantly less share of BC
forest exports compared to pre-2009, but its value continues to increase steadily.
- China has increased substantially over the last decade and is now in a strong second place. China’s share has remained around 30% since 2011. Total export value to China declined for the first time since 2008.
- Japan has decreased since the late 1990s, but has been steady lately, and remains in third place since 2009. Lumber exports were up in terms of volume and value, but other products fell resulting in a net decline from 2014
to 2015 (-5.4%).
- Other export markets made up 14% of total forest sector exports in 2015, with notable destinations being South Korea, the UK, Taiwan, and Indonesia.