The global production and trade of major wood products such as industrial roundwood, sawnwood and wood-based panels have surged to their highest level since the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) began recording forest statistics in 1947.
FAO says the fastest growth was in North America, Europe, and the Asian-Pacific region.
Sawnwood production grew by 2% around the world in 2018 and the output of both sawnwood and panels reached a record high. Global production and trade in wood pulp also grew by 2% to reach new levels in 2018 - 188 million tons and 66 million tons respectively.
Particleboard and oriented strand board (OSB) also saw big gains.
"Global production of particleboard and OSB wood panels, commonly used in construction and furniture manufacturing, posted the fastest growth among all wood product categories, recording 25% and 13% respectively from 2014 to 2018. Most of the growing demand for these products came from Eastern Europe, including the Russian Federation.
In 2018, industrial roundwood production in the world grew by 5% to reach a record output of 2.03 billion cubic metres. Global trade grew 7% to a record high 138 million cubic meters, with China accounting for a 25% share of imports. New Zealand overtook the Russian Federation to become the top exporter of industrial roundwood in 2018."
FAO mentioned the growing importance of China, who overtook the U.S. in sawnwood production for 2018. China is the largest producer and consumer of wood-based panels.
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