Canadian Forest Service Publications

Secondary manufacturing of solid wood products in Alberta 2017: Structure and economic contribution. 2019. Sun, L., Bogdanski, B.E.C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, British Columbia. Information report BC-X-447. 36 p.

Year: 2019

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39812

Language: English

Series: Information Report (PFC - Victoria)

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Abstract

This report presents survey results for Alberta’s secondary wood manufacturing industries in 2017. The survey compiled operational, employment, production, marketing, and financial information on nine business types. This is the second focused survey of the sector after the first one was conducted in 2013 allowing for comparisons between the two years and providing base information for continued tracking of the sector in subsequent years. The secondary wood manufacturing sector has grown tremendously over the past 20 years but certainly has struggled to grow over the last decade. The Alberta secondary wood product industries, clustered around Calgary and Edmonton, were significant users of Alberta’s wood resources and suppliers of wood-based products to Alberta and the rest of North America. Most of the fibre used by Alberta manufacturers was in the form of lumber sourced from the Alberta market. The majority of sales were within Alberta (65%), with the rest distributed across British Columbia (8%), the Prairies (3%), eastern Canada (12%), and the United States (12%). Over one third of responding firms planned to expand operations, although a number of challenges were identified as hindering expansion opportunities. Market uncertainty and trade barriers, along with high cost and an inexperienced labour force, were identified as the most pressing challenges facing the industry.

Plain Language Summary

This report presents the structure and economic contribution of the secondary wood manufacturing industries to Alberta’s economy in 2017. This is the second focused survey of the sector after the first one was conducted in 2013. In 2017, we estimate that 331 businesses (excluding panelboard businesses) employed 8,453 people and had sales of $1.5 billion. The Alberta secondary wood product industries, clustered around Calgary and Edmonton, were significant consumers of Alberta’s wood resources, utilizing an estimated 4.1 million cubic meters of wood fibre. Most of the fibre used by Alberta manufacturers was in the form of lumber sourced from the Alberta market. The majority of sales were within Alberta, with the rest distributed across British Columbia, the Prairies, eastern Canada, and the United States. Many firms hope to expand operations but opportunities were hindered by several changes. Market uncertainty and trade barriers, along with high cost and an inexperienced labour force, were identified as the most pressing challenges facing the industry.

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