SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan government estimates forest companies in the province are on track to harvest record levels of timber in 2021 and into 2022.

The Ministry of Energy and Resources says a surge in the global market for home construction and renovation materials has increased demand for lumber, oriented strand board and treated wood products.

“If sales continue at this rate, we will see record revenue and record royalty revenue in the province. It’s been a great success story through this last year,” said Minister of Energy and Resources Bronwyn Eyre.

The province reports a 30 per cent increase in forestry product sales in 2020 with over $1.1 billion worth of forest products sold.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic people have been spending a lot more time at home and not travelling so much and upgrading their homes and that’s translated into a real increase in the amount of lumber used,” said the President of Carrier Forest Products Ltd. William Kordyban.

Carrier Forest Products operates a lumber mill in Big River and has a timber reload division near Prince Albert.

Kordeban says most of their customers are in the United States, where the economy is doing well, and that’s helped boost their sales.

More than 75 per cent of Saskatchewan's primary forest products are exported to other countries, according to the province.

The province has seven forest products facilities that produce lumber, OSB and pulp and over 200 other businesses that supply a variety of primary and secondary forestry products.

The province estimates there are nearly 8,000 jobs in the forestry industry in northern Saskatchewan.