Selective Cuttings

The next seven forest products

May 16, 2013

Since 1996, the forest product landscape has changed significantly. In Forest products: Export value, we explored the changes to the structure of largest categories of forest products in terms of export revenues (i.e. newsprint, lumber, panels, NBSK and printing and writing papers). We noted that with the drop of some major exports, exports of “other products” were gaining importance. Let’s have a look at these.

In the graphs below, export values for the seven most important ‘other’ exported products are shown since 1996. Amongst those, all have been increasing, except for packaging (stable) and the other paper category (declining). ‘Other’ forest products now account for 29% of forest product exports against 13% in 1996.

In particular, tissue and specialty papers are growing in export value in contrast to other paper products. The structural change to newsprint, printing and writing paper demand may yet impact specialty coated paper, but sanitary and household papers are experiencing a growing global consumer base.

A striking difference since 1996 is how much more dissolving and semi-mechanical pulp is currently exported. Dissolving pulp exports have tripled due to a strong demand from the Asian textile industry. Semi-mechanical pulp exports have almost doubled thanks to the health of global packaging demand.

While newsprint and many other communication papers are facing structural challenges, these smaller export products are entering markets which, in many cases, have strong global growth prospects. Taken together, this “other” category is growing rapidly and gaining importance in the Canadian balance of trade figures.

Export value of other forest products

This area graph shows the trends of export values for the largest forest product exports since 1996. Other paper products are on a declining trend and packaging on a stable trend.

This area graph shows the trends of export values for the largest forest product exports since 1996. Growing export segments are logs, tissue and specialty papers, and dissolving and semi-mechanical pulp.