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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
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Individual Highlight

Economic Model Predicts U.S. Forest Product Markets and Timber Demand Trends

Historical data on real prices of softwood sawtimber in the U.S. South and overlapping 2012 baseline projections of prices to 2060 (in 2006 dollars per cubic meter). Peter Ince, Forest ServiceSnapshot : Model provides insights on how U.S. competition and trade in forest products could be affected by expanded global use of wood for energy in future decades

Principal Investigators(s) :
Ince, Peter J. 
Research Location : FPL, SRS
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2012
Highlight ID : 26

Summary

Forest Service researchers developed a detailed model that provides projections of future timber demands and timber prices under alternative scenarios regarding global economic growth and wood energy consumption. The model provides insights on how U.S. competition and trade in forest products could be affected by expanded global use of wood for energy in future decades.

The Resources Planning Act (RPA) mandates that the Forest Service provide a periodic national report assessing the U.S. forest resource supply and demand status every 10 years. This report includes long-range projections of forest product consumption, production, trade, and timber market trends, and researchers developed a model that provides such projections. Benefits of this research include a precise and quantitative understanding of how future timber demands and values could evolve under alternative future economic scenarios

The model provides a range of new and expanded capabilities, including modeling regional U.S. forest product production and trade, stumpage markets for hardwood and softwood timber, regional timber harvest and wood residue disposition calibrated to Forest Service timber data acquired through the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, and the relationship between housing construction and wood product demands.

Using global economic scenarios developed for RPA, the model shows that scenarios with large expansion in global use of wood for energy would likely result in large increases in real timber stumpage prices in U.S. regions, but U.S. producers of forest products could still gain competitive advantages if global roundwood prices increase more in foreign countries than in the United States as a result of expanded global wood energy consumption.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Southern Research Station
  • University of Wisconsin