China’s imports of wood products are forecast to continue increasing in 2017. The increase is in response to a decline in domestic production despite a strong domestic demand. Starting in early 2016, China banned commercial logging in natural forests to allow forests to recover from decades of overlogging and to help restore forest ecosystems. This ban is estimated to reduce China’s wood production by about 50 million cubic meters (m3), an estimated 8 percent of total production. Hence, in the next three to five years, China will need to import more timber to compensate for the reduction in domestic timber production as a result of the ban. Meanwhile, China’s overall wood product exports are expected to remain stable in the coming years.
China: Strong Domestic Demand and Declining Production Encourage Wood Imports in 2017