New Study Forecasts China's Timber Supply Deficit to Increase by 55% by 2015

April 19, 2011 - RISI today reported that China's timber supply deficit (its imports of logs and the roundwood equivalent of imports of primary products like lumber, wood panels, woodchips and pulp) will jump from 107 million cubic meters in 2009 to 182 million cubic meters in 2015. This timber dependency forecast is included in a recently published Special Market Analysis Study: China's Timber Supply Outlook, 2011-2015.

According to RISI, the study will provide an integrated overview and analysis of the prospects for China's rapidly developing forest products industry, based on its need for imported raw material and its ability to increase domestic timber supplies.

The study also profiles both foreign and domestic companies trying to benefit from China's seemingly insatiable appetite for wood fiber by investing in forest plantations in China. In addition, the report highlights what may become a major new trend in timberland investments, outward investment by Chinese companies seeking to secure wood fiber raw materials overseas.

"China's timber supply deficit, already as large as Canada's total timber harvest, is forecast to expand by another 55% by 2015," said Robert Flynn, author of the study.

"What our customers are asking us is: What form will timber imports be in? And where will they come from?" Flynn noted. "Traditionally, China has mostly imported timber in log form, but in just two years (from 2008-2010), imports of lumber into China more than doubled, and we expect this to continue at a rapid pace through 2015."

He continued, "This is good news for Canadian suppliers as they currently own a 50% share of lumber imports going into China, but with this increase in demand, we expect to see other markets looking to capture a bigger share of this business from them."