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    Author(s): Kenneth E. Skog; Peter J. Ince; Richard W. Haynes
    Date: 1998
    Source: Proceedings of the Forest Products Study Group workshop : held at the Forest Products Society annual meeting, June 23, 1998, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. [Madison, Wis.] : Forest Products Society, c2000.:p. 73-89 : ill.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (667 KB)


    The USDA Forest Service is preparing a national assessment of supply and demand for wood fiber resources in the United States. Based in part on preliminary results of this assessment and partly on our 1993 Assessment, this paper outlines trends and gives an outlook for demand and trade for timber and fiber products, changes in technology, and wood fiber resource supply. We use the term wood fiber to include timber for solid wood products, pulp and paper products, and recycled paper for paper products. Demand for solid wood products and paper and paperboard products will be driven by growth in population, gross domestic product (GDP), and personal disposable income (PDI). The growth rate of these indicators is sustained but slowing. Population, GDP, and PDI are projected to grow about 1 percent, 2.7 percent, and 2.5 percent per year, respectively, through 2005. Growth will be slower through 2050. Population growth will be 0.5 percent by 2050, and GDP and PDI will average 1.9 percent growth per year. Despite continued strong growth in GDP and PDI per capita, consumption of forest products per capita will slow, stop, or actually decline for some solid wood products but will increase for engineered products and slow for paper and paperboard products. Consumption of wood fiber products will continue to shift from lumber and plywood to engineered wood products, such as oriented strandboard and laminated veneer lumber, and to fiber-based panels, and from solid wood products to paper and paperboard products. The United States is a net importer of forest products. Preliminary analysis suggests net imports of paper and paperboard could continue to decline relatively with a faster growth of exports. Timber supply for solid wood products will continue to shift from larger softwoods to smaller softwoods and hardwoods. Paper and paperboard fiber supply will continue to shift away from residue use (because of lower residue production from lumber and plywood mills) toward recycled paper use and greater roundwood timber use. Timber supplies are projected to increase 43 percent between 1991 and 2040. The most striking shift during this time is the shift toward supply coming from farm and other private sources-a growth of 67 percent versus a growth of only 17 percent from other types of ownership. This shift could result in a significant change in the direction and content of forest management and policy debates in the coming decades. Harvest of hardwoods will increase substantially in the South. With expected increasing prices for pulpwood, short-rotation hardwood plantations may expand, with most growth occurring after 2010. Pulpwood and woodpulp imports are projected to increase, but imports remain small relative to domestic supply. Technology is expected to continue to adapt to changing fiber supply with shifts toward engineered wood products using smaller diameter trees and hardwoods and shifts toward paper and paperboard processes that use more hardwood and recycled paper.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Skog, Kenneth E.; Ince, Peter J.; Haynes, Richard W. 1998. Wood fiber supply and demand in the United States. Proceedings of the Forest Products Study Group workshop : held at the Forest Products Society annual meeting, June 23, 1998, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. [Madison, Wis.] : Forest Products Society, c2000.:p. 73-89 : ill.


    Wood fibers, Wood products, Forest products, Paper, Supply balance, Timber trade, Technical progress

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