8 February, 2016
China to increase future wood imports
China's huge wood demand, in relation with its economic and social
evolution, faced with the insufficient forestry development, will
inevitably increase wood imports in the following years. Source:
Forestry Expo Co NZ
China will push forward its Natural Forest Protection Program and phase out all commercial logging of natural forests by 2017.
A logging ban is already active in some of the country's key areas, especially in three north-eastern provinces.
It seems that the ban will be extended to all state-owned forests
next year, and logging on privately owned land will be ceased by the end
These bans will reduce logging output by 50 million cubic meters per year.
China has at the moment 198 million hectares of natural forests, of
which 127 million hectares have been put under the administration of
reservations since the launch of the Natural Forest Protection Program
Chinese natural forest policies will determine an even wider gap
between wood demand and the ability to satisfy this demand with own
domestic resources. Therefore, in the following years, China's reliance
on foreign imports of timber will further be enhanced.
As more and more countries around the world ban log exports, it is
expected that of the logs and lumber duo, Chinese lumber imports to win
in the upcoming years.
At current growth rates, Chinese log imports will reach around 82 million m3 by 2020, while lumber imports around 52 million m3.
If we take into account the full stop of commercial logging in
natural forest, then Chinese wood imports (logs and lumber) might reach
180 to 200 million m3 by 2020.
It is expected that in key markets where China makes purchases of
valuable hardwoods, like in Southeast Asia and Africa, export bans will
be imposed in the following years. However, Chinese domestic investment
and consumption of valuable hardwoods is still strong.
According to Chinese customs import data in 2013, total imports of
mahogany in 2013 reached 3,196,000 m3 in volume and 38.06 billion yuan
In 2014, Chinese imports of mahogany increased to 4,693,000 million
m3 and 61.78 billion yuan; thus up 46.8% in volume and 62.3% in value
over the previous year.
There are no current signs of a decline in the Chinese demand for valuable hardwoods.
The current Chinese timber import channels are expected to modify
according to some factors: like the fight against illegal logging, the
RMB's exchange rate and others.
So China's timber import origin countries will gradually develop towards a diversification.
In 2013, a among Chinese logs imports larger than 500,000 m3,
Ukraine, Myanmar, the United States, Australia, France, New Zealand
recorded the highest surges, in order, 199%, 57%, 54%, 42%, 35%, 33%.
Chinese lumber imports from Russia, the United States, Thailand,
Chile, the Philippines, Finland, Sweden increased by 13.0%, 16.1%,
25.5%, 64.4%, 47.0%, 156.3%, 223.3%.
During the Chinese 13th economic plan (2016-2020), the main sources
for logs imports will be formed by Russia, Ukraine, as the
representatives of Europe; New Zealand and Australia; the US and Canada.
The largest lumber imports from Europe will come from Russia and
Finland; the U.S. and Canada; and Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines
from Southeast Asia.