Gateway Gazette

Alberta’s Forest Industry Grows Nearly 8% in 2014

Industry’s growth supports 50 Alberta communities

Edmonton – The latest numbers indicate that Alberta’s forest industry is continuing to grow and contribute to the province’s economic diversity. Values of lumber, pulp and paper, and panelboard manufactured by Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) members totaled $2.9 billion in 2014. The numbers reflect a 7.7% increase from 2013. Industry growth was fueled by a 12% increase in revenue from lumber sales and 6% increase in pulp sales.

“2014 was a very solid year for our industry,” said AFPA President and CEO Paul Whittaker. “Strong sales for our members meant significant investment into employees, communities, and capital projects.” Whittaker noted that while prices have begun to soften during the first part of 2015, future prospects are strong. “Housing starts in the US are projected to rise in late 2015 and early 2016. We’re also hoping that Asian markets will continue to increase the use of wood, pulp, and newsprint. These factors should mean continued growth for our sector.”

Alberta’s forest industry is a significant contributor to 50 Alberta communities. The industry has invested in future sustainability through market diversification initiatives and capital projects. These include an increased focus on Asian market development and investments to generate electricity from renewable forestry biomass.

The industry’s continued growth also means strong demands for skilled workers, particularly in the trades. For more information on forestry careers, please visit workwild.ca.

More information can be found on our website at albertaforestproducts.ca.

The Alberta Forest Products Association is a private, non-profit industry organization, representing lumber, panelboard, pulp and paper, and secondary manufacturing wood products companies operating in Alberta. AFPA member companies are active participants in sustainability advancements that contribute economic, environmental, and social benefits for Albertans.

Sector Analysis

LUMBER – AFPA-member companies produced 3.3 billion board feet of lumber in 2014 with a value of $1.3 billion. Part of this production came from the secondary manufacturing sector. Compared to 2013, production volume increased by 101 million board feet (3.2%) and values climbed by $135 million or 11.5%.

PANELBOARD – AFPA-member panelboard operators produced 1.1 billion square feet of 7/16 inch equivalent product in 2014 valued at $361 million. Compared to 2013, production increased by 4 million square feet (0.4%), but weaker prices caused values to decline $800,000 or 0.2%.

PULP & PAPER – The AFPA’s pulp and paper sector production for 2014 was 1.5 million air dried metric tonnes (ADMT) valued at $1.2 billion. Production was down 8,100 ADMT (0.5%) from the same period in 2013, but stronger prices caused values to rise by $74 million or 6.5%.

Alberta’s Forest Industry by the Numbers

13,000 – Number of people directly employed the industry
2 – Number of spinoff jobs created for every forest industry job
50 – Number of communities that are supported by the forest industry
4 billion – Number of dollars generated annually by the forest industry for Alberta’s economy
320 – Megawatts (MW) of power generated by Alberta’s forest industry using materials that were previously wasted
80 – The City of Grande Prairie’s approximate power demand (in MW)
0 – The number of additional trees that are cut down to make power (only by-products like bark and sawdust are used for power generation)
65 million – Number of trees planted by the industry in 2014
1.5 billion – Dollars of capital investment by Alberta’s forest industry between 2011 and 2015

Production Figures and Values – (2013 and 2014)

Lumber

2013

2014

Year/Quarter

Production

(mmfbm)

$C Value

(000,000s)

Production

(mmfbm)

$C Value

(000,000s)

1st Quarter

743.6

$291.7

746.4

$301.6

2nd Quarter

838.1

$290.1

871.5

$318.2

3rd Quarter

855.1

$290.2

883.9

$342.3

4th Quarter

770.7

$298.0

806.8

$342.8

Yearly Totals

3,207.5

$1,170.0

3,308.6

$1,304.9

Source: Random Lengths (S-P-F, Western Kiln Dried 2×4, STD&BTR, Random, Prices Net FOB Mill)

 

Panelboard

2013

2014

Year/Quarter

Production

(mm sq ft)

$C Value

(000,000s)

Production

(mm sq ft)

$C Value

(000,000s)

1st Quarter

277.8

$100.2

290.9

$91.5

2nd Quarter

288.2

$93.4

289.8

$91.2

3rd Quarter

277.8

$83.5

264.3

$85.2

4th Quarter

283.4

$85.0

286.6

$93.5

Yearly Totals

1,127.2

$362.1

1,131.6

$361.4

Source: Random Lengths, Madison’s Lumber Reporter

 

Pulp and Paper

2013

2014

Year/Quarter

Production

(Thousand Air Dried Metric Tonnes)

$C Value
(000,000s)

Production

(Thousand Air Dried Metric Tonnes)

$C Value

(000,000s)

1st Quarter

374.2

$278.8

388.5

$324.9

2nd Quarter

358.3

$277.5

391.3

$318.6

3rd Quarter

388.9

$296.1

339.9

$268.2

4th Quarter

371.4

$293.9

365.0

$308.5

Yearly Totals

1,492.8

$1,146.3

1484.7

$1,220.2

Source: Pulp & Paper Week – Resource Information Systems Incorporated

CUMULATIVE TOTALS – ALL AFPA SECTORS
Full year   2013  $2,678,400,000
Full year 2014  $2,886,410,000    

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