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International News : COP26 Deforestation Pledge Will Not Cut Global Lumber Supply

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COP26 Deforestation Pledge Will Not Cut Global Lumber Supply

Index Box


IndexBox has just published a new report: 'World - Industrial Roundwood - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights'. Here is a summary of the report's key findings.

Over 120 countries signed the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use, a voluntary commitment to halt deforestation. The world's top lumber suppliers, such as Canada, Russia and Sweden, are among the signatories, as well as those countries with the highest rates of tropical forest loss - Brazil and Indonesia. Based on experience from a similar 2014 agreement signed in New York, the obligations will not force suppliers to significantly slow their pace of deforestation but rather instigate an increase in planting new trees to replace those cut down.

Key Trends and Insights

In November 2021, more than 100 countries signed the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use, obligating them to halve deforestation by 2020 and cease it altogether by 2030. The endorsers account for about 90% of global tree cover, and 28 out of these countries are obligated to stop clearing tropical forests to produce palm oil, cacao and soy. The COP26 obligations permit the continuation of clearing forests as long as new trees are planted to replace those cut down.

The declaration is accompanied by $19.2B in financing and is legally non-binding because it was approved outside the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The world's largest lumber suppliers, such as Canada, Russia and Sweden, are among the signatories, as well as those countries where tropical forests are located, namely Brazil and Indonesia. Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Paraguay, which are among the countries with the highest deforestation rates, did not sign the Glasgow Declaration. 

According to Global Forest Watch, in 2020, the global landmass covered by forests decreased by 25.8M Hectares. The most significant decrease in forest mass was recorded in Russia (5.44M ha), Brazil (3.29M ha), Canada (1.20M ha), the U.S. (1.97M ha) and Indonesia (962K ha). As a consequence of Covid restrictions, global trade in industrial round wood decreased from $17B to $15B, dropping in real terms from 233 to 205 cubic meters.

Theoretically, the Glasgow Declaration could have a severe effect on the global lumber market. If it were legally binding, the critical lumber supplying countries would decrease logging activities, which would lead to a deficit in lumber around the world. However, the resulting effects of the preceding 2014 New York declaration prove that such agreements do not slow down the pace of deforestation. It's more likely that governments will increase efforts to plant new trees to comply with the agreement and only insignificantly decrease logging. The high demand for lumber in the construction industry will decrease prospects of reining in the pace of deforestation worldwide.

Global Industrial Roundwood Imports

In 2020, overseas purchases of industrial roundwood decreased by -12% to 205M cubic meters for the first time since 2017, thus ending a two-year rising trend. In value terms, industrial roundwood imports fell from $16.9B to $14.8B (IndexBox estimates) last year. 

In 2020, China (92M cubic meters) represented the leading importer of industrial roundwood, committing 45% of total imports. Austria (21M cubic meters) ranks second in total imports with a 10% share, followed by Sweden (6.2%). Germany (9.1M cubic meters), Finland (7.1M cubic meters), Japan (6.6M cubic meters), Belgium (5.7M cubic meters), India (4.4M cubic meters), South Korea (4.4M cubic meters), Poland (3.4M cubic meters) and Canada (3.2M cubic meters) took a relatively small share of total imports.

Imports into China increased at an average annual rate of +4.2% from 2010 to 2020. At the same time, Belgium (+9.5%), Austria (+4.8%), Sweden (+1.9%) and India (+1.3%) also displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Belgium emerged as the fastest-growing roundwood importer globally, with a CAGR of +9.5% from 2010-2020. Poland and Germany experienced relatively flat trend patterns. By contrast, Finland (-2.8%), Canada (-3.1%), Japan (-5.5%) and South Korea (-8.4%) illustrated downward trends over the same period. 

In value terms, China ($8.4B) constitutes the largest market for imported industrial roundwood worldwide, comprising 57% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Austria ($713M), with a 4.8% share of global imports, and it was followed by India, with a 4.4% share. The average industrial roundwood import price stood at $72 per cubic meter in 2020, flattening from the previous year. Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was India ($147 per cubic meter), while Austria ($35 per cubic meter) was amongst the lowest. From 2010 to 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by South Korea, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

World's Largest Industrial Roundwood Suppliers

In 2020, New Zealand (40M cubic meters), distantly followed by the Czech Republic (21M cubic meters), Germany (20M cubic meters), the U.S. (18M cubic meters), Russia (15M cubic meters), and Uruguay (12M cubic meters) represented the leading exporters of industrial roundwood, together constituting 64% of total exports. Australia (7.4M cubic meters), Norway (6.8M cubic meters), Canada (4.4M cubic meters), France (4.2M cubic meters), Latvia (4M cubic meters), Papua New Guinea (3.9M cubic meters), and Belarus (3.6M cubic meters) followed a long way behind the leaders.

In value terms, New Zealand ($2B), the U.S. ($1.6B) and Russia ($1B) were the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2020, together accounting for 40% of global exports. Germany, the Czech Republic, Uruguay, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Canada, France, Norway, Latvia and Belarus lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 39%. Source: IndexBox Platform Please mention the

Source: IndexBox Platform