According to FAO, year 2014 was very successful in global production of all major wood products. Since the global economic downturn of 2008-2009, all major forest products exceeded levels seen prior to economic crisis.
Thais Linhares-Juvenal, head of the FAO’s Forest Economics and Statistics Team, said:
“Wood industries were among the hardest hit by the recent global economic downturn in 2008-2009. We are seeing now the highest growth of the global wood industries in the last five years, which is important to national economies and the wellbeing and livelihoods of millions of forest-dependant people worldwide”
In 2014, the fastest growth was registered in Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean, where growth in wood products, including industrial roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels and pulp and paper, was around 5 percent. In other regions, the growth ranged from 1 to 5 percent, surpassing the pre-recession levels of 2007.
China overtook Canada and USA
According to the FAO report, China has grown in importance as both a producer and a consumer of forest products, and has recently overtaken a number of other big players in different product groups (e.g. China overtook Canada and USA in sawnwood production and cosnumption respectively). China is by far the largest producer and
consumer of wood-based panels and paper. It is also highly significant in international trade of forest products, being the world’s largest importer of industrial roundwood, sawnwood and fibre furnish (pulp and recovered paper), and the largest exporter of wood-based panels. In 2014, China’s imports of industrial roundwood and sawnwood surged by 17 and 30 percent respectively, to record levels, and paper production and consumption resumed growth after a pause in 2013.
Let’s see what year 2015 brought. We will be able to read about it around December 2016, when FAO publishes the Statistical Yearbook of Forest Products on annual basis. It aims to provide countries with information and tools to assess the contribution of the forest products industry to global and national economies and sustainable development, and to improve their forest management and forestry policies.