OTTAWA, ON -- The "mini-boom" experienced by the Canadian wood products industry in the final months of 2010 should continue in 2010, albeit at a slower pace, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

“After three years of losses, a surge in prices and demand lined up favorably early this year for the industry,” said Jacqueline Palladini, economist. “The industry’s rebound will continue in 2011, but the pace of growth will slow. The uncertain short-term outlook for the U.S. housing market remains a key concern for the Canadian industry.”

The Conference Board noted that China will continue to be a major market for the Canadian wood product industry's growth. Between 2000 and 2010, Canadian exports to China increased by 3,300 percent. In the process, Canada surpassed Russia in 2010 as the biggest exporter of softwood lumber to China.

The Conference Board noted that the continued weak U.S. housing market will likely prevent Canadian wood products manufacturers from benefitting from strong export growth until the second half of 2011.

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