Selective Cuttings

Secondary forest products are valuable Canadian exports

March 7, 2013

Along with primary forest products, secondary forest products exports have been hard hit by the global economic crisis. Since 2005, the value of secondary forest products exports has dropped 44% to $7.8 billion. However, secondary forest products have remained a very important part of Canadian forest exports: for the past ten years, the share of secondary forest products exports has been very stable, representing on average 28% of all forest products exports (see Figure).

Canadian exports of primary and secondary forest products

 This graphs shows that along with primary forest products, secondary forest products exports have been hard hit by the global economic crisis. However, for the past ten years, the share of secondary forest products exports has been very stable, representing on average 28% of all forest products exports.

In parallel with their primary paper cousins, exports of secondary paper products continuously decreased between 2002 and 2012.  While the overall trend is down, there are three categories of secondary paper products that show long term promise with solidly stable or growing export trends: household and sanitary paper (+6% since 2002), articles made of moulded or pressed paper pulp (+70% since 2002), and special coated papers (+22% since 2002). The latter includes adhesive papers, cellulose wadding and webs and waxed papers.

Exports of secondary solid wood products, again in a similar fashion to primary wood products, are showing signs of recovery (+12% since 2009) in large part thanks to solid exports of wooden furniture (+23% since 2009) and other manufactured objects (e.g. tools and broom handles) (+13% since 2009).