The global production of softwood lumber is steadily increasing, with Europe still the largest producer (300 million cubic metres per year) and drivers of demand in North America and China, according to Fordaq via IHB Friday. The per capita consumption is highest in North America, while in Europe, Finland, Sweden, Austria, and Latvia top the list.
This are some of the conclusions drawn by Rupert Oliver of the British market research institute Forest Industries Intelligence at this year’s International Softwood Conference (ISC), held from 4 to 6 November in Amsterdam.
The largest international exporter, and with a strong upward trend, is Canada, which is already responsible for a third of the world’s lumber exports. Most of Canadian exports are going to the USA and China.
The second larger exporter is Russia, also with a rising trend. Main markets for the Russian lumber are China and the CIS countries, and to a much lesser extent, the EU too. The biggest export market for European manufacturers is Egypt.
Softwood Lumber Manufacturing, Globally
The largest importer worldwide, the United States, imports almost all wood from Canada. The second largest importer is China. There, in 2014, Russia replaced Canada as the largest supplier.
The demand for wood will continue to rise, says Oliver, as for the Asian construction sector a doubling is expected by 2024, driven especially by the megacities.
In connection with the wood certification issue, Oliver called it as a largely European phenomenon. In a nutshell, certification has a high proportion in Europe, low in North America and almost nothing in China.