Hardwood Timber Supply and Demand in Asia

Asia’s economic growth has driven regional timber demand growth of over 20% CAGR between 1980 and 2008.1 Regional timber demand has been based on growth in both export-oriented processing and manufacturing industries and domestic consumption. Timber is broadly divided into two categories: softwood and hardwood. Softwoods are used primarily for construction timber, newsprint and cardboard manufacture, with relatively limited use for appearance grade applications such as furniture and flooring. Hardwood timber was also traditionally used for general construction in Asia where it was the only form of timber available, but this is being displaced by growing softwood log and lumber imports. On international markets hardwood is now used primarily for appearance grade applications such as furniture, flooring, and where a harder or more durable wood is needed (e.g. window and door frames) and heavy duty plywood (e.g. concrete formwork and flooring for shipping containers). Hardwoods are also the main source of kraft pulp used in papermaking.

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