International trade is a major component of Maine’s forest products industry. The Maine International Trade Center (MITC) estimates that Maine exported approximately $551 million worth of forest products in 2018 to countries like Canada, China, and Italy. This represents about 20 percent of Maine’s total exports. 2018 Trade Stats – MITC.
Top Exports of Forest Products: Wood pulp products topped the list at $199 million worth of exports, which were primarily sent to Canada, China and Italy. Articles of wood came second with $195 million worth of exports to Canada, the Dominican Republic, and China. Maine also exported $172 million worth of paper and paperboard products to Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
Top trading partners:
- Canada is consistently Maine’s most important trade partner for forest products. In 2018, Maine exported $346 million worth of forest products to Canada, and $1.8 billion over the last five years.
- China: The trade tensions between the U.S. and China have negatively impacted Maine’s exports of forest products to China. From 2017 to 2018, Maine exports of wood pulp decreased by 20 percents and exports of wood articles dropped by 45 percent, this represents a decrease of approximately $28 million.
- South Korea: Exports of wood pulp products to South Korea increased by over $14 million from 2017 and 2018, this represents a 50-fold increase. As trade tensions with China continue, Maine’s forest products industry must continue to seek alternative foreign markets to replace Chinese demand; South Korea is a growing alternative market for Maine’s forest products.
Imports: Maine imports of forest products from Canada account for more than 90 percent of Maine’s total imports of forest products. In 2018, Maine imported $202 million worth of wood pulp products, $154 million worth of wood articles, and $106 million worth of paper and paperboard products from Canada.