Canadian sawmills: highest level of sales since 2007

Statistics Canada
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According to the Canada's National Statistical Agency, total sales in the wood product industry were up 19.7% over the 12-month period from June 2012 to May 2013 compared with the same period one year earlier. By comparison, total manufacturing sales in Canada, excluding wood products, decreased 1.1% over the same period.

Wood product manufacturing was one of only eight industries where sales increased from June 2012 to May 2013, and represented both the largest dollar gain and largest percentage gain by industry.

Sales in wood product manufacturing reached $22.7 billion from June 2012 to May 2013, their highest point since 2007/2008.

The rebound in the industry has resulted in wood product manufacturing accounting for its largest share of Canadian manufacturing sales since 2007/2008. The wood manufacturing industry represented 3.9% of manufacturing sales from June 2012 to May 2013, compared with 3.2% during the same period a year earlier.

Higher prices and volumes were both factors in the increased sales in the wood product industry, as foreign demand rose. From June 2012 to May 2013, the average Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) for the wood industry was 9.2% higher than the previous 12-month period, and was at its highest point since 2005/2006.

The sawmills and wood preservation sub-industry was the main source of growth within the wood industry from June 2012 to May 2013. This sub-industry accounted for $10.6 billion in total sales, up $2.0 billion from the same period a year earlier. Sales also reached their highest level since 2006/2007. This sub-industry also accounted for the largest share of total wood industry sales (46.8%). Increases were attributable to higher exports to the United States as well as higher prices. Exports in the sawmill and wood preservation industry to the United States increased 36.9% from June 2012 to May 2013, up $1.2 billion from the same period one year earlier.

The rise in exports was largely attributable to growth in the US housing market. Data published by the US Census Bureau report that unadjusted housing units started in the United States reached 863,600 units from June 2012 to May 2013, up 28.9% compared with the same period a year earlier. The IPPI indicates that wood prices in the sawmills and wood preservation industry have risen 10.5% over this period as a result of increased demand.

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