The value of forest products from members of the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) rose 5% to reach $3 billion in 2015, marking the fourth consecutive year of increases. The most significant gains came from pulp and paper, which grew 16%. Panel also had a strong year, with 7% growth. Lumber production values declined by 5%.
AFPA-member companies produced 3.5 billion board feet of lumber in 2015 with a value of $1.2 billion. Part of this production came from the secondary manufacturing sector. Compared to 2014, production volume increased by 189 million board feet (5.7%), but weaker lumber prices caused values to decline by $66 million, or 5%.
AFPA-member panelboard operators produced 1.1 billion square feet of 7/16 inch equivalent product in 2015 valued at $388 million. Compared to 2014, production increased by 7 million square feet (0.6%), and significantly stronger prices caused values to increase by $27 million, or 7.4%.
The AFPA’s pulp and paper sector production for 2015 was 1.6 million air dried metric tonnes (ADMT) valued at $1.4 billion. Production increased 71,500 ADMT (4.8%) from the same period in 2014, and stronger prices caused values to rise by $191 million, or 15.7%.
“Alberta’s forestry sector is strongly diversified,” said AFPA President and CEO Paul Whittaker. “This is due not only to product and market diversification, but also to investment in new areas. In addition to traditional products, the industry continues to make progress in converting waste streams into green energy and exploring new opportunities in bioproducts.”
The Alberta Forest Products Association is a private, non-profit industry organisation, representing lumber, panelboard, pulp and paper, and secondary manufacturing wood products companies operating in Alberta.
Alberta’s forests cover 38 million hectares, an area approximately the same size as Japan. Its forests are managed according to some of the world’s most rigorous standards, including legally mandated regeneration of harvested areas and detailed forest management plans that include public consultation and consideration of ecological, recreational, and economic values.