|| Written by ici.radio-canada.ca
Canada and the United States have entered another softwood lumber dispute. But what is meant by lumber and what does this industry mean to the Canadian economy?
Here are some explanations in figures.
WHAT IS SOFTWOOD LUMBER?
These are the wood used in the construction of the house structure and in the manufacture of products for construction or residential renovation. Timber is mostly used as a support. Planks (often thick and wide), planks (eg 2×4), beams, paneling, etc. are timber.
Canadian lumber comes almost entirely (98%) of softwood trees. The main timber species processed in Canada are spruce, pine, cedar and fir.
Hardwood species such as maple, cherry and oak are hardly used to make lumber. Hardwood is generally used for the manufacture of furniture, flooring and other finishing works.
The majority of Canadian lumber (90%) is cut in public forests. In the United States, the opposite is true, most of the timber comes from private lands.
WHAT PROVINCES PRODUCE LUMBER?
Canada produced about 5,813,400 cubic meters of lumber in January 2017, according to the most recent data from Statistics Canada.
The main lumber producing provinces are British Columbia (at least 2,606,000 cubic meters in January 2017), Quebec (1,467,300 cubic meters), Alberta (798,800 cubic meters), and Ontario (476,400 cubic meters).
Other provinces also produce smaller quantities, New Brunswick (238 800 cubic meters), Nova Scotia (90 100 cubic meters), and Saskatchewan (62 700 cubic meters).
HOW DOES THE LUMBER INDUSTRY REPORTS IN CANADA?
The majority of timber produced in Canada is destined for export. Of all the Canadian lumber produced in January 2017, 3,537,700 cubic meters were sold in foreign markets. British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta are the major exporters.
In 2015, exports of lumber totaled $ 8.5 billion.
Sales in the US market currently represent close to 24,300 direct jobs in Canada, according to Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the Montreal Economic Institute.
Lumber accounts for 20% of the value of exports of Canadian forest products, according to Natural Resources Canada.
WHERE IS PRIMARILY EXPORTED CANADIAN LUMBER?
The main purchaser of Canadian lumber is the United States. The US market currently accounts for nearly 75% of Canada’s lumber exports, according to the Montreal Economic Institute. Lumber exports to the United States totaled C $ 7.5 billion in 2016, according to Statistics Canada.
China and Japan have also become important markets. Exports to China amounted to $ 1.1 billion in 2016 and $ 776 million to Japan in the same year, Statistics Canada reported.
Article published on April 26, 2017 on ici.radio-canada.ca