Alberta’s forest industry stable in first half of 2015
By Alberta Forest Products Association
December 17, 2015 – In the first half of 2015 Alberta’s forest sector began to slow, but remains stable. Values of lumber, pulp and paper, and panelboard manufactured by Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) members totalled $750 million in the first quarter of 2015 and $718 million in the second quarter. The numbers reflect a 4.4 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2014, followed by a year-over-year decline of 1.3 per cent in the second quarter.
"Our industry has many opportunities that bode well for the future," said AFPA president and CEO Paul Whittaker. “We have seen an increase in the generation of green power, development of markets abroad, and the use of cutting-edge technology in facilities.”
Whittaker noted that despite some positive news, the industry also faces a number of challenges, including the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the United States, the mountain pine beetle, and a slowing economy in Canada.
“Some of these challenges are certainly contributing to slower growth in the sector,” he said. “Now, more than ever, it is important for the forestry sector, government, and communities to work closely together to ensure that the forest industry remains a vital contributor to Alberta.”
Alberta’s forest industry is a significant contributor to 70 Alberta communities. About 15,000 Albertans work in the industry and an additional 30,000 are employed through economic activities generated by the sector. 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.
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.