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China - Overview of Forest Governance, Markets and Trade

In 2009, the Chinese wood products industry posted historic highs in terms of imports, production, and market activity. Trade data shows that 2009 imports of forest products were the highest on record, and domestic harvesting reached its highest peak in history in 2008. Domestic markets are booming, and while exports are down by volume, by value the export market was relatively stable. The economic downturn of 2008 and 2009, however, did cause numerous bankruptcies and closures especially among China’s small- and medium-sized mills – indicating that while the overall market remained relatively stable, a massive shift in industry structure occurred. All over the globe, wood products industry analysts and sales specialists are expecting China to be the fast-est-growing consumer of wood products in the years to come, to feed what is likely to be continued de-mand from the US, Europe and elsewhere, but in particular, a burgeoning domestic market. Regionally, the global recession actually strengthened China’s trade relations with its Asian neighbors, particularly ASEAN1 when China’s import markets remained relatively stable compared to other countries such as the US and Europe. China is expected to be the fastest-growing lumber producer, importer and consumer in the world, with annual increases in lumber consumption of 5.1 million m3. This fast-paced consumption growth should have a strong impact on global wood demand, particularly as the major global economies begin to emerge from the current economic recession and China’s export markets recover. This report was supported by EFI.

Authors: Sun Xiufang, Kerstin Canby - Forest Trends

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Kerstin Canby
14 June 2012

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