Logs standing in a sawmill in the village of Mralino near Skopje, Macedonia. The fastest growth in production and trade of wood products was seen in North America, Europe and the Asian-Pacific region.
Photo: ©FAO/Robert Atanasovski

Global production of wood products is rising

The global production and trade of major wood products have surged to their highest level since the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) began recording forest statistics in 1947.

Global production and trade of major wood products such as industrial roundwood, sawnwood and wood-based panels posts the highest growth in 70 years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported in December 2019.

Record volumes of wood-based products were produced and traded around the world in 2018. The value of international trade was 11 per cent higher than in 2017. The fastest growth was seen in North America, Europe and the Asian-Pacific region, largely driven by positive economic growth.

China has grown in importance as both a producer and consumer of forest products and has recently overtaken the US in sawnwood production. The country is by far the largest producer and consumer of wood-based panels and paper.

In 2018, China's imports of industrial roundwood increased by 8 per cent, while its sawnwood and panel production and consumption continued to grow faster than the rest of the world.

Global production of particleboard and OSB wood panels, commonly used in construction and furniture manufacturing, posted the fastest growth among all wood product categories. Most of the growing demand for these products came from Eastern Europe, including the Russian Federation.

Wood pellets boom strengthens

Wood pellet production has increased dramatically in recent years, mainly due to the demand generated from bioenergy targets set by the European Commission. In 2018, global production grew by another 11 per cent, reaching 37 million tonnes, providing opportunities for reduced reliance on fossil fuels.

Europe and North America accounted for the biggest share of global production; however, production in the Asia-Pacific region doubled to reach 15 per cent from 2014 to 2018.

Decline in global production of paper

The global production of paper and paperboard contracted by 2 per cent in 2018.  Paper production stagnated in Europe and North America, while there was a decline in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

The production of printing and writing papers fell by 4 per cent - the lowest level since 1996 - as it felt the impact of digital technology.

(FAO/ile)

Read more at FAO Website: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1256261/icode/