Global Green Carbon

Global Timber Market

There is an urgent global need for commercial reforestation programs to replace the rapidly diminishing supply of rainforest timbers, which supply more than 75% of the world’s trade in hardwood logs, over 50% of the trade in sawn hardwood and a significant portion of panels and pulp.

It is widely acknowledged that areas of old-growth forest available for logging are nearing exhaustion, and the associated environmental impact with some traditional forestry methods have far reaching and damaging effects. Plantation forests such as those implemented by Global Green Carbon must become the major source for commercial use lumber. At present, hardwood sawnwood plantations are almost non-existent. Most plantings thus far have focused on the market for pulpwood. Prices for hardwood have jumped considerably in the last few years as a result of supply constraints.

It needs to be emphasized that not all plantations need to be the biological deserts that have come to characterize large-scale, industrial plantations. Well-planned plantations can actually alleviate some of the social, economic and ecological burden currently being placed on natural forests. In addition, these biologically diverse, multi-purposed plantations, such as those developed by Global Green Carbon, can mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon, off-setting deforestation and reducing the ecological strain on natural forests.

Production and Consumption of Timber

Production and consumption of key wood products and wood energy are expected to rise from the present to 2030, largely following historical trends of 1-2% increases per annum.  The main factors affecting long-term global demand for wood products include:

  • Demographic changes: the world’s population is projected to increase to 7.5 billion in 2020 and 8.2 billion in 2030.
  • Continued economic growth: global GDP increased from about US$16 trillion in 1970 to US$58 trillion in 2009 and is projected to grow to almost US$100 trillion by 2030
  • Regional shifts: developed economies accounted for most of the GDP in the period 1970–2009. The rapid growth of developing economies, especially in Asia, will swing the balance significantly in the next 25 years.
  • Environmental policies and regulations: more forests will be excluded from wood production.
  • Energy policies: the use of biomass, including wood, is increasingly encouraged.

As outlined in the table below, global production is projected to increase dramatically and in-line with consumption requirements. Industrial roundwood, derived from growth in demand for end products – sawnwood, wood-based panels and paper and paperboard, is expected to increase by more than 40 percent up to 2030. Industrial roundwood will be increasingly likely to come from planted forests in the future as factors outlined above continue to drive overall lumber demand.


Global Trade Timber - All Products


Global production and Consumption of Lumber

The income that owners derive from managing forests to meet the demand for goods and services is a primary determinant of investment in forest management. Demographic changes, economic growth, regional economic shifts and environmental and energy policies will be decisive in the long-term global demand for wood products.

Production and consumption of key wood products and wood energy are expected to rise from the present to 2030, largely following historical trends. The most dramatic change will be the rapid increase in the use of wood as a source of energy, particularly in Europe, as a result of policies promoting greater use of renewable energy. The highest growth rates will continue to be in Asia, which will be the major producer and consumer of wood-based panels and paper and paperboard (although per capita consumption will remain higher in Europe and North America).

Industrial roundwood production in Asia will be far short of consumption, increasing the dependence on imports. The potential for large-scale commercial production of cellulosic biofuel will have unprecedented impacts on the forest sector. Increasing transport costs will also influence the demand for wood products. These factors and others, including changes in exchange rates, will influence the competitiveness of the forest sector and affect production and consumption of most forest products. Industrial roundwood will be increasingly likely to come from planted forests in the future. This continuing shift presents interesting opportunities and challenges for forest management.




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