Selective Cuttings

Softwood lumber exports 2012

April 11, 2013

Canadian softwood lumber exports continued their recovery in 2012, expanding to 34.6 million m3 – up 4.5% from 2011, and up 33% from the recessionary low in 2009. Total exports finished the year at 69% of the 1995-2007 average.

Canadian softwood lumber exports (1995-2012)

 This stacked area graph shows the volume of Canadian softwood lumber exports from 1995 to 2012. Exports expand slowly from 1995-2005, before rapidly declining until 2009. Since then they have been slowly expanding, with China,capturing an increased share.

The U.S. remains Canada’s largest export market at 65% of total exports (up from 63% in 2011), and China remains the second largest at 22% (identical to its 2011 share). Japan also held the same share of Canadian exports as 2011 (8%), while the rest of the world (ROW) fell slightly, to 6%.

In keeping with earlier forecasts, Canada’s softwood lumber exports to China expanded modestly in 2012, up 1.6% (+118 000 m3) relative to 2011. Private sector analysis suggests that Canada’s volume of softwood lumber exports to China may level off in the short to medium term, with higher prices increasingly giving additional benefits.

In dollar terms, exports had a slightly stronger year, increasing to C$5.7 billion in 2012, up 11% from 2011. This was primarily driven by an increase in shipments to U.S. markets, which were up 22% to C$3.4 billion.

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