EDMONTON — Record high wood product demand is helping pave the way for economic recovery, government officials in Alberta stated recently.
According to the province, Alberta is now seeing record-breaking solid wood prices at $1,288 per thousand board feet for western spruce-pine-fir despite the COVID-19 crisis initially reducing demand for pulp and paper products this year.
Officials noted that prices for lumber, oriented strand board and plywood have also seen a significant recovery from April lows, with benchmark prices increasing between 125 per cent and 215 per cent.
“We commend the Government of Alberta for recognizing that a strong forest industry is part of the solution,” said Janis Simpkins, senior vice-president and environmental chair, Alberta Forest Products Association in a statement. “Forestry sustains well-paying jobs at a time when our economy is challenged, manages our forests to make them more resilient to pests like mountain pine beetle, and sequesters carbon in our finished products. The government has taken important steps to support a healthy industry that is a bright spot in our provincial economy.”
Officials noted that other jurisdictions saw reduced production in their forestry sectors before and immediately after the pandemic hit. This reduction was difficult to reverse as demand for wood products ended up outperforming expectations.
“In contrast, Alberta saw limited production curtailments during this time, maintaining a competitive advantage,” read a release from the province.