Most analysts are saying it will be several months before oil prices rebound and start boosting Alberta’s bottom line again, but another industry is poised for a strong surge this year: forestry.
Scotiabank Economist Patricia Mohr tells 660News, home building in the U.S. is off to a sluggish start because of all the snow so far this year, but that’s about to change. “So I think as we move into the spring months, housing construction in the U.S. is going to pick up,” she said. “There’s very tight shelter availability now in the U.S.. They’ve been under-building housing for more than five years.”
Mohr predicts the demand on North American sawmills will climb over 80% this year, and lumber prices should rally starting this month.
Most of Alberta’s lumber production is concentrated in the north and west-central parts of the province, but there are a few sawmills here in the south, including Cochrane’s Spray Lakes operation.