China: Timber output improves
Asia Observatory

17 March 2010

China: Timber output improves

Output of the Chinese timber sector was seriously affected by the global economic turmoil. However, business conditions have improved since the second quarter of 2009 mainly due to measures taken by the Chinese government to stimulate domestic demand. Though the value of trade in 2009 did not recover to the same level as in 2008, it never-the-less rose on a quarterly basis.
Statistics from China’s Customs show that 2009 exports of forest products, including paper and paper products, plywood, fiberboard and other wood products did not recover to the level of the previous year. The exception was wooden furniture for which export values rose 9.2 percent. Analysis of the data for each quarter shows that export levels are gradually improving.

Log imports from NZ jump
Log imports in 2009 totaled 28 million cubic metres, valued at US$4,087 million, down 5 percent in volume and 21 percent in value from 2008. Of the total, imports of softwood logs were 20.3 million cubic metres, up 9 percent, imports of hardwood logs were 7.76 million cubic metres, down 30 percent; imports of tropical logs were only 6.1 million cubic metres, down 15 percent from 2008. In 2009 the proportion of Russian logs fell 10 percent to 53 percent, whereas, log imports from New Zealand rose 131 percent.

Eleventh 5yr Plan success
In the Eleventh Five Year Plan for the Forest Industry compiled by the State Forest Administration (SFA), the total value of output in the forestry industry by the end of the plan period was to reach RMB 1.2 trillion. The latest data shows that this goal was realised, ahead of time in 2008. The value of output has grown at double-digit rates for nine years in succession. According to conservative estimates the value of output in the sector for 2009, when the final data becomes available, could amount to RMB1.58 trillion, up 9.8 percent over 2008. According to a new development objective put forward at the National Forestry Conference held recently, the output value of the forestry sector in 2010 could reach RMB1.7 trillion.