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Individual Highlight

Role of the United States in Changing Worldwide Hardwood Lumber Production and Markets

Photo of Top hardwood lumber producers and exporters 1995 and 2013.Top hardwood lumber producers and exporters 1995 and 2013.Snapshot : Hardwood markets are increasingly global, and understanding the role U.S. hardwood lumber plays in worldwide consumption and trade is valuable to timber investors, the hardwood industry, resource planners, and market analysts. Forest Service scientists have recently assessed factors affecting regional hardwood lumber consumption on a global scale. They determined the U.S. position in each of these categories and analyzed factors potentially affecting global hardwood lumber consumption such as population and Gross Domestic Product.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Luppold, WilliamBumgardner, Matt
Research Location : Princeton, WV; Delaware, OH
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 876

Summary

Worldwide hardwood lumber production fluctuated between 1995 and 2013, but changed considerably with respect to regional market shares. Similarly, worldwide hardwood lumber imports and exports have been constantly changing. Understanding these changes is important because they define the hardwood lumber consumption (defined as production plus imports minus exports) of a region or country, including the United States. A Forest Service scientist has assessed these factors and found that in 1995, North America accounted for 25 percent of worldwide hardwood lumber production while East Asia and Oceana (EAO) produced 26 percent. In the current century, a decline in production in the United States and increased production in China and Vietnam resulted in the EAO region accounting for more than 48 percent of worldwide hardwood lumber production in 2013. The United States was the second largest producer (16 percent) and consumer (13 percent) of hardwood lumber in 2013 and the leading or second largest exporter since 1995, accounting for 17 percent of global exports in 2013. Hardwood lumber consumption generally has been moderately to poorly correlated with country population, and uncorrelated with GDP. This knowledge is vital to timber investors, the hardwood industry, resource planners, and market analysts.

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