Supply and demand for wood: a worldwide perspective?Author(s): Sally Duncan
Source: Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. October (8): 1-5
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionIn a unique effort to compare and contrast differing views on future supply and demand for wood, a study found that demand for wood will increase, but there is no evidence of a crisis at the world scale. Opportunities to increase wood production, however, are limited and trade-offs among competing uses of forests are inevitable. A complex of factors determine supply and demand including population growth, increasing income, prices of wood raw material, technological change, institutions and policies, and the nature of ownership and rights to use land.
The study displayed the future under many types of assumptions. In doing so, it became clear the the greatest uncertainty was projected demand for fuelwood, and sources of supply for fuelwood. This is particularly important because more than half of the global wood harvest is for fuelwood.
"The outlook for industrial wood-based products is uncertain, but we do know that demands on forests are increasing," says David Brooks, research forester. The rate of increase will remain moderate because increases in income and consumption will be relatively slow in developed countries. In developing countries, a combination of slow income growth and increasing prices could encourage constant or declining consumption of industrial round wood.
The long-term outlook is for steadily increasing demand for wood and the many other services of forests, and a declining area for their production. The study found that increasing and competing demands for land and resources requires that the forest sector not be viewed as independent from other land uses such as agriculture, and it is not separate from industry and trade. The study also highlights the importance of forestry policies that consider environmental consequences.
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CitationDuncan, Sally. 1998. Supply and demand for wood: a worldwide perspective?. Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. October (8): 1-5
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