China’s timber and forest products imports expected to increase by 60 million cubic meters by 2025

Despite slower growth in China’s overall economy, the nation’s high timber deficit will sustain growth in its already high import volumes of wood fiber

BOSTON, January 5, 2016 (Press Release) – China is the world’s largest importer of logs and wood pulp, and is the second largest importer of lumber and woodchips. In total, the timber content in China’s primary forest products imports in 2014 was equal to about 10 percent of the global production of industrial roundwood.

Slower economic growth in China has reduced demand for imports of almost every commodity over the last two years. However, RISI analysts expect China’s already high timber supply deficit to continue driving import volume growth over the next ten years. The nation’s timber and forest products imports are expected to increase by 60 million cubic meters by 2025, and will eventually account for 12-13 percent of global timber harvest. These and other findings were recently published in China Timber Supply Outlook, new study from RISI – the leading information provider for the forest products industry.

Growth in the coming decade will be more in the form of lumber rather than logs, and in wood pulp imports rather than woodchips. In total, the wood content of China’s primary forest products imports will increase from an estimated 194 million cubic meters in 2015 to 254 million cubic meters by 2025.

“In light of recent events related to China’s slowing economy, for instance overbuilding in the residential construction sector and weakness in Chinese property and stock markets, we took a conservative approach to our forecast for China’s timber demand,” said Robert Flynn, lead author of the study and Director of Global Timber at RISI.

“Our projections for import growth are significantly lower than what we’ve used in the past. But this is on a very high base, and the absolute increase in China’s timber import volumes will mean that this country will continue to be the fastest growing import market for forest products in the world. The country’s imports will rise to about 12-13 percent of the global production of annual roundwood by 2025.”

In China Timber Supply Outlook, Flynn and other RISI analysts detail China’s increased need for wood fiber, how much the nation is expected to import in the future and primary sources for wood fiber supply.

Included in China Timber Supply Outlook:

  • China’s Economic Outlook, 2015-2025
  • China’s Timber Supply/Demand Outlook: Forecast of China’s timber supply deficit and of the nation’s imports of logs, lumber, wood pulp and woodchips needed to balance demand and supply
  • Analysis and Forecast of Domestic Timber Supply: Focus on the key plantation species in China, and expectations for future trends in domestic timber supply
  • Chinese Companies’ Wood Fiber Resources: Review of steps Chinese companies are taking to secure wood fiber; global regions of interest and species of interest to Chinese investors.
  • Timber Demand in China: Forecast of lumber and wood panel production, imports and consumption; forecast of wood pulp production and imports.
  • Price trends for imported logs, lumber and woodchips – by species and source.

For more information, request the prospectus at

About RISI (

RISI is the leading information provider for the global forest products industry. The company works with clients in the pulp and paper, packaging, wood products, timber, biomass, tissue and nonwovens industries to help them make better decisions.

Headquartered in Boston, MA, RISI operates additional offices throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.


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