New Report Tackles China’s Age-Defining Timber Squeeze!

A new report, the first of its type, addresses China's impact on global timber over the next decade.

Sun 25 Feb 24


China will increasingly rely on lumber imports to fuel its future economy, with demand for lumber surging between 50 to 75% above COVID levels over the next decade to 2035.

At the same time, log availability for softwood importers will drop 50%, widening a wood supply gap that has led the world’s most connected timber traders to speculate, “Where is the timber coming from?”

That is according to Rudolf van Rensburg and Brian Johnson, the co-authors of “China – Forest, Log & Lumber Outlook,” a 197-page report produced by Russ Taylor Global and Margules Groome Consulting, published today.

Speaking exclusively to Wood Central, Mr van Rensburg said the report, the first of its type, accessed all areas of the Chinese wood and forest industry, as well as the hardwood and softwood demand, supply, growth and production, “we even studied the ocean and land ports,” before adding that “no areas were off limits.”

“And unlike some traditional and often dated analysis, heavy on descriptions of trade statistics rooted in the past and lacking in grounded outlooks, our insights come from consultants on the ground in China,” said Mr van Rensburg.

Whilst China is “short” on softwoods, its hardwood eucalyptus estate is booming, with “the estate now on par with Brazil in terms of size[RR1] , which as a nation makes it one of the largest eucalyptus growers in the world,” Mr van Rensburg said.

“China is investing in new production facilities to capitalise on its increased domestic supply, making it more competitive in export markets and providing opportunities for China to realign and optimise its hardwood value chain.”

According to Mr van Rensburg, “China is now the world’s largest hardwood log producer,” adding that at a time when Western companies are exiting paper and pulp assets, “China is doubling down on hardwood pulp production competing head-on with new projects in South American countries.”

Then there are engineered wood products, “with China already the home to the world’s largest MDF, plywood and particleboard production,” Mr van Rensburg said, adding that “OSB production has also been growing exponentially reaching 11 million m3 in 2023.”

With so much information, how can Wood Central readers capitalise on opportunities with the world’s largest consumer of wood products?

“Well, I guess you’ll need to purchase the report,” Mr van Rensburg said.

The report is now available for order for US $5,000.00, with report data tables additionally available for US $700,00. Corporate subscriptions and presentations are also available upon request. See the Margules Groome website for details.

Wood Central will have exclusive interviews with the report’s authors in the coming weeks, including behind-the-scenes video and audio.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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