Forestry sector appears on upswing

Alberta’s anemic forestry industry continues to show signs of improving health.

Alberta’s anemic forestry industry continues to show signs of improving health.

The Alberta Forest Products Association has reported that shipments of forestry products out of the province during the first quarter of 2010 was 12 per cent higher than for the same period in 2009.

It said that activity in the United States housing market helped push lumber prices up.

The association noted that while year-over-year volumes of lumber and secondary products was up for the quarter, pulp and paper production declined, as did panel board production.

“There is some reason for optimism in our industry,” said Brady Whittaker, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association.

“Stronger demand and higher prices are helping the forestry sector and creating jobs in communities across Alberta.

“At the same time, factors such as a high Canadian dollar and mountain pine beetle continue to negatively affect the industry.”