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Softwood Lumber Satellite Account, 2016

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Released: 2018-03-26

The value added of the forestry, lumber and pulp and paper industries, as defined by the Softwood Lumber Satellite Account (SLSA), exceeds $20 billion and increased from 2013 to 2016. The softwood lumber industry remains an important industry, accounting for an average of 1.2% of total economic activity and over 5% of total exports over this period. The value added to output ratio remained relatively stable over this period at about 33%.

The SLSA provides measures of the size and scope of the Canadian forestry, lumber, and pulp and paper industries that are directly comparable to measures of Canada's gross domestic product and exports of goods. It integrates several data sources into the framework of a supply and use table, providing detailed information that is not available in other Statistics Canada products.

Net trade positive for forestry-related products

Net trade of forestry-related products averaged about $20 billion annually from 2013 to 2016.

Exports of forestry-related products accounted for over 5% of the total value of Canadian exports over this period. Exports were led by softwood lumber (from $7.4 billion in 2013 to $9.9 billion in 2016), sulphate softwood pulp (from $4.5 billion in 2013 to $4.9 billion in 2016), and paper (from $3.4 billion in 2013 to $3.3 billion in 2016).

Imports were primarily products further down the supply chain, such as converted paper products (from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $2.3 billion in 2016), paper (from $1.7 billion in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2016) and paperboard containers (from $1.1 billion in 2013 to $1.5 billion in 2016).

Exports of forestry, lumber and pulp and paper products are significant in British Columbia, accounting for 24% of total exports in 2016. SLSA products are also important exports for New Brunswick (15%), Quebec (9%) and Nova Scotia (9%).

International exports rose strongly over the period, with gains in most provinces. The provincial distribution highlights the clear concentration of the exports originating in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia (accounting for 82% of all exports in 2016).

Pulp, paper and paperboard mills largest core SLSA industry

The three largest core SLSA industries (excluding construction) in terms of output were pulp, paper and paperboard mills, sawmills (except shingle and shake mills) and converted paper product manufacturing.

The output of pulp, paper and paperboard mills rose every year from 2013 to 2015 and then decreased in 2016 to $17.4 billion. Sawmills (except shingle and shake mills) also saw their output grow each year over the period, totalling $14.9 billion in 2016. Converted paper product manufacturing output rose from $9.9 billion in 2013 to $10.4 billion in 2016, but fell to $9.5 billion in 2014.

Softwood chips are an extremely important input into the pulp and paper industry. They are valued at over $2 billion and account over 20% of total intermediate inputs.

The total output of the logging industries was almost evenly split between contract logging and non-contract logging from 2013 to 2016. Contract logging had the largest share of output in 2013 and 2014, at 53%, while the non-contract logging share was larger in 2015 and 2016, at 52%.

The value of Canadian production of softwood logs ($3.5 billion) far outweighs that of hardwood logs ($257 million). The dominance of softwood over hardwood products occurs in every product split along these lines.

  Note to readers

The estimates for 2014 and 2015 have also been revised.


Additional information can be found in the document "The Softwood Lumber Satellite Account: Sources and Methods."

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

To request the Softwood Lumber Satellite Account data tables, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Andreas Trau (613-951-3466;, Industry Accounts Division.

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