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FAO Data Indicate Recovery of Global Forest Products Industry

FAO18 December 2012: According to a press release from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the forest products industry is slowly recovering from the economic crisis, with China and the Asia-Pacific strengthening their positions in the global market.

The FAO press release reports that global production of main forest products grew by 1-4% in 2011, compared to 2010, which indicates that countries are emerging from recession, but more slowly for some products and regions than others. For example, the global production of wood-based panels and paper was above the pre-crisis mark of 2007 in most regions, while the global production of industrial roundwood has not yet recovered to pre-crisis levels. Modest overall growth was observed in the markets for pulp and paper, which have increased significantly in the Asia-Pacific region, but generally declined in Europe and North America.

In particular, the release reports that China has increased its importance in the production and trade of forest products, producing 11% of the world's sawnwood, 38% of its panels and 26% of its paper. China also imported $43 billion of forest products in 2011, which accounted for 16% of the global total. The press release also highlights a 60% decline in Russia's industrial roundwood exports, and a 13% rise in sawnwood exports, numbers that signal significant changes in the forestry production structure in Russia.

These developments and trends in markets for forest products were tracked through the FAO's forest product statistics database, which contains 1.2 million entries and statistics from the last 50 years. [FAO Press Release] [UN Press Release on FAO Data]