The Quebec forest industry comprises three main sectors. The first is softwood sawmilling; the second consists of hardwood sawmilling and veneer, which can be grouped under the wood products banner (including lumber, boards, and value-added wood products); and the third covers pulp, paper and paperboard (including market pulp, newsprint, cardboard and processed paper products).
The forest sector accounts for a significant portion of the Quebec economy, namely 2.3% of Quebec’s GDP in 2008. At this time, the province is home to fewer than 183 sawmills and 57 pulp and paper mills, not all of which are QFIC members.
Quebec dominates forest product exports in Canada, accounting for 34% of Canadian shipments, worth $14.9 billion in 2009. In addition, 31% of the country’s forest product exports, or $7.3 billion in 2009, come from Quebec. Our main export markets are the United States (78%), the European Union (8%) and Latin America (5%).
Quebec produces the most pulp, paper and paperboard of any province, with 36% of total Canadian production, representing more than half of Canadian newsprint production.
Since the collapse of the U.S. housing market, the Quebec forestry sector has been confronted with many challenges. The Quebec forest industry generates more than 67,999 direct jobs (2009), but has lost nearly 14,420 jobs, or 30.2%, since the crisis began.