The Bugwood Network

Timber Demand


  • The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations forecasts that world demand for wood  will nearly double by the middle of the next century.
  • The USDA-Forest Service projects that demand for U.S. forest products will reach 25 billion cubic feet annually by the middle of the next century, up from nearly 18 billion in 1991.
  • The demand for forest products is largely determined by growth in U.S. population, income, and aggregated economic activity as indicated by Gross National Product (GNP) and total personal income.
  • In broad terms, future projections for timber demand show rising trends in the consumption of forest products with a much more cyclical outlook for timber growth and inventories.
  • Over the period 1990 to 2040, softwood harvests from U.S. forests should rise by 35 percent.  Hardwood harvests should rise by more than 51 percent.  This level of consumption requires annual sawtimber stumpage real price growth in the order of 1-2 percent above general inflation.
  • With reduced softwood stumpage supply during the 1990 to 2010 period, demand will adjust downward following higher prices.  Until 2010 there is expected to be rising consumption, less rapid growth in timber inventories, and increasing real prices for stumpage and products.  After 2010 there are expected declining growth in rates of consumption and increasing inventories in an amount to stabilize prices until the end of the projection period in 2040.
  • By 2040, U.S. timberland will comprise two distinct components: 1) private inventories with relatively stable total volume, rapid growth, harvested close to minimum merchantable ages, and employing increasingly intensive silvicultural methods to grow softwoods; and 2) public lands with rising inventories of older stands using much less intensive silviculture.  In addition, more intensive forest management and more tree planting do not limit short-term price increases or harvest shortfalls, although their long-term impacts can be substantial.
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The University of Georgia - Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Dept. of Entomology
Last updated on Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 10:14 AM
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