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China’s Forest Product Import Trends 1997-2002

Analysis of Customs Data with Emphasis on Asia-Pacific Supplying Countries

By Xiufang Sun, Nian Cheng, Andy White, R. Anders West , Eugenia Katsigiris - Forest Trends, Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Forest Trends, Forest Trends, Forest Trends, Center for International Forestry Research, DFID
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China plays a major, and growing, role in the global forest products market today. The largest importer of industrial roundwood in the world since 2001, China is now second only to the United States in total imports of forest products, rising from seventh in less than ten years. In recent years, over 40 percent of total commercial timber consumed domestically in China has been imported. This rapid increase in imports has been driven by both the reduction in domestic timber supply and the growth in wood demand. Liberalization of trade in forest products reinforces this growth.
Trade statistics and reports on forest production and trade from exporting countries suggest that China is one of the major destinations for timber that is harvested unsustainably or illegally. The rapid growth of wood product imports to China will continue to have impacts on forests and the livelihoods of millions of forest-dependent people throughout Asia-Pacific and the world.