The province is reporting a 30 percent increase when it comes to forestry products from this time a year ago. with over $1.1 billion being sold,
Officials said COVID-19 initially created market uncertainty in the forestry sector, but that changed last summer with an increase in demand resulting in prices for lumber, oriented strand board (OSB) and treated wood products, which are used in decks and fences, currently at record highs.
“Our forestry sector is a key economic driver and will be a leader of Saskatchewan’s post-pandemic recovery efforts,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said in a release. “Forestry is an important sector for many communities in Saskatchewan and supports thousands of jobs, while producing important products that we all use, including tissue paper, cabinetry, and housing construction materials.”
Forestry is currently northern Saskatchewan’s largest sector, supporting nearly 8,000 jobs. There are seven major primary forest products facilities that produce lumber, OSB and pulp, and over 200 smaller businesses that supply a variety of primary and secondary forestry products. Hundreds of supply chain businesses also provide goods and services for forestry manufacturers, including in road construction, logging, trucking, reforestation and forest management.
More than 75 per cent of Saskatchewan’s primary forest products are exported to other countries. Last year, forest product exports were valued at $700 million. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Saskatchewan’s forestry sector has been enhanced by a growing Asian economy and ongoing housing recovery in the U.S., which is seeing the highest number of housing starts in 15 years.
Saskatchewan is expected to harvest and produce record levels of timber and levels of forest products into 2022. Development of the sector has the potential to generate over $2 billion in forest products sales annually and support nearly 12,000 jobs. Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan includes a goal to double the growth of the province’s forestry sector by 2030.