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This work is copublished by the United Nations (UNECE) and FAO.
The Forest Products Annual Market Review 2019-2020 provides a comprehensive analysis of markets in the UNECE region and reports on the main market influences outside the UNECE region. It covers the range of products from the forest to the end user - from roundwood and primary processed products to value-added, housing and wood energy. Statistics-based chapters analyse the markets for wood raw materials, sawnwood, wood-based panels, paper, paperboard and woodpulp. Underlying the analysis is a comprehensive collection of data. The Review highlights the role of sustainable forest products in international markets. Policies concerning forests and forest products are discussed, as well as the main drivers and trends. The Review also analyses the effects of the current economic situation on forest products markets.
The forest sector is unaccustomed to rapid change. Tending a forest from seed to harvest can span decades in some places and more than a century in others. Most forest products today remain unchanged from 50 years ago; manufacturing processes have evolved and been mechanized, but the process and products change little from year to year and, when they do, always in a measured, incremental way. What we think of as “new” forest products, such as wood pellets for energy and cross-laminated timber, are not so new at all; wood pellets were first produced in the 1970s, and they were preceded by a similar product called “presto logs” as far back as the 1930s. Cross-laminated timber has been manufactured and used for almost 20 years now, although only recently has its versatility been fully recognized. In fact, one of the hallmarks of forest product markets is their consistency and predictability, which fits well with the “rear-view mirror” vantage of the Forest Products Annual Market Review because trends in one year have a good track record as an indicator of what to expect in the next.
By all measures, 2019 was a “normal and predictable” year for the forest products sector. A bark-beetle epidemic in central Europe created an overabundance of raw materials, which lowered prices and led to an increase in exports; it also has ramifications for future wood supply. But this type of event has happened before and will happen again, and the forest products industry knows what it must do to cope with such situations. This year, 2020, started as 2019 left off – but then COVID-19 hit. Initially, the forest sector in most of the UNECE region was less affected by the pandemic than many other industries. Most governments deemed forestry and forest products as essential industries and both continued to operate during lockdowns; surprisingly, too, there has been better-than-expected continuity in demand for most forest products. Nevertheless, the potential remains for far-reaching, longer-term effects.
COVID-19 has had short-term health and economic impacts on the forest sector related to worker well-being and availability; the impact of reduced incomes and economic activity on the purchase of forest products; and the effect of increased working from home on household purchases of certain forest products, such as office furniture and wood for do-it-yourself projects. The longer-term effects are unclear, but many questions arise: Will there be a glut of empty buildings in urban centres, dampening new construction, as a result of the success of working from home? Will there be an exodus from high-cost, long-commute urban centres such as Paris, New York and London, with people now able to work from home in areas with a lower cost of living? Will COVID-19 reduce demand for open-space buildings for those who stay in the office? Will the trend away from bricks-and-mortar retail buildings towards online shopping intensify? An answer of “yes” to any of these questions would have a strong impact on future demand for forest products.
This year’s Forest Products Annual Market Review sets out developments in the pre-COVID-19 forest sector in 2019, provides a first glimpse into the sector during the pandemic, and offers food for thought on what the future holds. As always, the publication benefited from the inputs of a group of leading experts as authors, who have combined their market intelligence and knowledge with the data gathered by the UNECE/FAO team.
The secretariat wished to express its very deep gratitude to everyone who contributed to this very special edition of the Forest Products Annual Market Review. This Review was compiled by the secretariat during the very particular working conditions imposed by COVID-19 outbreak. The publication further had to operate with a significantly reduced budget and staff this year.
The Forest Products Annual Market Review is the result of a cooperative effort involving a network of official country correspondents, authors, reviewers, editors, the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Sustainable Forest Products and a team of people working in the Forestry and Timber Section in Geneva and in FAO, Rome. In combination, this network provides an unrivalled source of expertise and knowledge, which is the hallmark of the Review.
Many of the people involved in producing the Forest Products Annual Market Review volunteer their time and expertise; others are supported by companies, universities, industry associations and a variety of other organizations. Without the help of all these people and institutions, it would not be possible to produce this annual publication.
We acknowledge the authors who wrote the chapters and, in so doing, shared their expertise and knowledge. They not only provided much of the market intelligence in their own chapters, they also assisted with data and information used elsewhere in the publication. You can find contact details and affiliations of all authors in the annex.
The authors are as follows:
Orifjon Abidov, Kathryn Fernholz, Frances Maplesden, Francisco Aguilar, Christopher GastonIgor Novoselov, Eduard Akim, Branko Glavonjić, Tapani Pahkasalo, Delton Alderman, Antti Koskinen, José Palacín, Matthew Bumgardner, Klaus Kottwitz, Russ Taylor, Ivan Eastin, William Luppold, Michel Valois Håkan Ekström, Warren Mabee.
In the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, Alex McCusker analysed the data and trends; and Gianluca Sambucini and Paola Deda proofread the chapters.
The project was managed by Florian Steierer. Matt Fonseca provided guidance on content and proofread the text. The chapters were reviewed at FAO by Pierre Bouillon, Thais Juvenal, Alicja Kacprzak, Arvydas Lebedys, Zuzhang Xia and Ekrem Yazici.
The manuscript was checked by Eoin O’Driscoll, Marketing Consultant, Drima Marketing Research. Alastair Sarre edited the text. The Printing Section of the United Nations Office Geneva provided layout and printed the publication.
In all, about 38 people were directly involved in the preparation of this publication, not including the additional contributors and statistical correspondents listed separately on the following pages.
The manuscript was completed on 4 September 2020.
The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section expresses its appreciation for the information and assistance received from the following people in preparing the Forest Products Annual Market Review 2019-2020. Authors are acknowledged separately. The base data for the Review were supplied by national statistical correspondents, who are acknowledged in a separate listing. We regret any omissions.
Yngve Abrahamsen, Euroconstruct, Swiss Economic Institute, Switzerland
Kathy Abusow, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Canada
Iana Arkhipova, International Consultant, FAO, Italy
Martin Bader, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Switzerland
Diego Benedetti, European Sawmilling Organization (EOS), Belgium
Norbert Burkart, German Timber and Sawmill Industry (DeSH), Germany
Cristina Calderón, AEBIOM - European Biomass Association, Belgium
Jean Christophe Claudon, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Japan
Ariane Crevecoeur, Confederation of European Paper Industries, Belgium
Henric Endoff, AB Global, Sweden
Elliot Freshwater, University of British Columbia (Master of International Forestry, Class of 2020), Canada
Johannes Hangler, Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Austria
Aline Knoblauch, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Forest Division, Switzerland
Jaroslav Kubišta, Forest Management Institute, Czechia
Andrej Kunca, National Forestry Center, Slovak Republic
Rajmund Lackzo, Eurostat, Luxembourg
Bernard Lombard, Confederation of European Paper Industries, Belgium
Lucia Park, University of British Columbia (Master of International Forestry, Class of 2020), Canada
Simon Poljanšek, Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Slovenia
Friedrich Schmitz, German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany
Andrzej Talarczyk, Polish Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy, Poland
Anne Toppinen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Jeremy Wall, European Commission, DG Growth, Unit C-2 (Raw Materials & Resource Efficiency), Belgium
The national statistical correspondents listed below are the key suppliers of data for this publication. We are grateful for their essential contributions and significant efforts in collecting and preparing the data.
Natalia Barten, National Statistical Committee, Belarus
Resat Benli, General Directorate of Forestry, Turkey
Consuelo Brandeis, USDA Forest Service, United States
Steve Dubaere, Statistics BelgiumKatarina Ekberg, Policy and Analysis Division, Swedish Forest Agency, Sweden
Thomas Erhart, Office of Statistics, Liechtenstein
Philippe Français-Demay, Statistiques forêt bois, Ministère de l'Agriculture et de l'alimentation, France
Spela Gale, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
Eleni Giakoumi, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Greece
Branko Glavonjić, Faculty of Forestry, Belgrade State University, Serbia
Sabina Guliyeva, State Statistical Committee, Azerbaijan
Johannes Hangler, Forest Policy and Forest Information, Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Austria
Boro Kovacevic, Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Miroslav Kovalcik, Department of Forest Policy and Economics, National Forest Centre, Slovakia
Ewa Leszczyszyn, Wood Technology Institute, Poland
Graça Louro, Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation, Portugal
Ludmila Lungu, National Bureau of Statistics, Republic of Moldova
Kohut Mickiewicz, Forestry Department, Belarus
Girgina Nikoleva, National Statistical Institute, Bulgaria
Olivian Nutescu, National Institute of Statistics, Romania
Eoin O'Driscoll, The Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland
Jan Oldenburger, Probos Foundation, Netherlands
Thierry Palgen, Nature and Forest Administration, Luxembourg
Inna Petrichenko, State Statistics Service of Ukraine
Ewa Ratajczak, Wood Technology Institute, Poland
Madis Raudsaar, Department of Forestry Statistics, Estonian Environment Information Centre, Estonia
Guy Robertson, USDA Forest Service, United States
Anahit Safyan, International Statistical Cooperation, National Statistical Service, Armenia
Andrea Savvas, Department of Forests, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Cyprus
Judit Sazakalas, National Food Chain Safety Office, Hungary
Giovanni Seri, National Statistical Institute, Italy
Biljana Stefanova, Dissemination, State Statistical Office, North Macedonia
Trond Steinset, Statistics Norway
Tamar Tarashvili, Agricultural and Environment Statistics Department, National Statistics Office of Georgia
Jukka Torvelainen, Statistical Services, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Emmanuel Treeby, National Statistics Office, Malta
Mario Valentić, Animal Production, Forestry and Fisheries Statistics Unit, Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Croatia
Darius Vizlenskas, State Forest Service, Lithuania
Dinko Vusic, Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Sheila Ward, Economics and Statistics, Forestry Commission, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Lyn Warner, Natural Resources, Canada
Holger Weimar, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry, and Fisheries, “Thünen Institut (vTI)”, Germany
Arthur Zesiger, Federal Statistical Office, Switzerland
Zhanar Zhanuzakova, Statistics Agency, Kazakhstan
Belén Zubieta de Piquer, Directorate-General of Biodiversity, Forests and Desertification, Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Spain
The statistical correspondents mentioned on the previous page supplied the data and statistics for this publication, which can be found in the FAOSTAT database and the UNECE website. The secretariat is grateful that correspondents provided data for 2019 or, in the absence of formal statistics, their best estimates. In those cases where there is no official source for information, data were estimated by using: author estimates, information from trade journals and research papers, data from the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industries Timber Forecast Questionnaire, and information from the United Nations trade database (Comtrade).
“Apparent consumption” is calculated by adding imports to a country’s production and subtracting exports. Apparent consumption volumes are not adjusted for levels of stock. “Apparent consumption” is synonymous with “demand” and “use” and often referred to as “consumption”. Consumption is a sum of a country’s (or subregion’s) production, imports and exports.
For ease of reading, the publication mostly provides value data in United States dollars (indicated by the sign “$”). Unless specific for a given period, the applied exchange rate for the euro in 2019 is €0.8933 = $1 and for the Russian rouble is RUB 64.74 = $1. Both these exchange rates are based on the annual average rate provided by UNECE (http://w3.unece.org/PXWeb/en).
Trade data for the 28 European Union (EU) countries include intra-EU trade, which is often estimated by the countries. Export data usually include re-exports. Subregional trade aggregates in tables include trade occurring between countries of the subregion. Declared unit values shown in tables and graphs are included as an indicator of price trends and are derived by dividing the declared monetary value of imported and exported products by the volume of these products.
Forecasts for 2020 and 2021 in the publication are based on the implied rate of change for 2019 to 2020 and 2021 from forecasts submitted by member States before the November 2020 meeting of the Committee on Forest and the Forest Industries.
See the map in the annex for a breakdown of the region into its subregions, please see the map in the annex. References to EU28 refer collectively to the 28 country members of the EU. The term Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) is used for reasons of geographic proximity and similarities in economic structure and refers collectively to 12 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. It is used solely for the reader’s convenience.
The term industrial roundwood is used interchangeably with logs. The term “softwood” is used synonymously with “coniferous”. “Hardwood” is used synonymously with “non-coniferous” and “broadleaved”. “Lumber” is used synonymously with “sawnwood”.
All references to “ton” or "tonnes" in this text represent the metric unit of 1,000 kilograms (kg) unless otherwise indicated.
A billion refers to a thousand million. One trillion refers to one million million.
Please note that all volumes of US and Canadian sawn softwood production and trade are given in actual m³, converted from nominal m³.
(Infrequently used abbreviations spelled out in the text may not be listed again here)
* The acronym EECCA replaces the name of the UN subregion formerly know as the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and includes the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.