China's timber imports surge in 2006
May 21, 2006
Log imports increased 18 percent to 8.1 million cubic meters. China customs valued these imports at $897.42 million.
Most of the log imports (64 percent) consisted of softwood logs from Russia. Sawnwood imports amounted to 1.45 million cubic meters worth some $385.72 million.
Separately, the ITTO Tropical Timber Market Report reported that paper multinationals are aggressively investing in China's paper industry. The report said that by 2010, the total output of China's paper and paperboard is projected to be nearly 80 million metric tons. China's demand for paper products is projected to reach 68.5 million metric tons in 2010. Environmental groups say that this growing demand is fueling pulp mill expansion and accelerating the loss of biologically rich forests in Indonesia.
China's insatiable demand for raw materials is rooted in its tremendous economic growth and has driven the country to pursue resources beyond its borders. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), China's demand for imported industrial wood -- timber, paper and pulp -- will grow by at least 33 percent within the next five years, from the current 94 million cubic meters to 125 million cubic meters.
Growing Pains and Growing Alliances: China, Timber and Africa China, as the fastest growing economy in the world, is poised to make significant impacts on the global market and the global environment, especially with its expanding involvement with nations rich in natural resources but deficient in economic and political stability. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Africa where China has rapidly bolstered its ties in recent years with the majority of the continent's 54 nations.
China's Olympics may destroy New Guinea's rainforests Construction for the 2008 Olympics in China may fuel deforestation in New Guinea according to an article published last week in the Jakarta Post. The article reports that a Chinese company has asked the Indonesian government for permission to establish a timber processing factory in Indonesia's Papua province to produce 800,000 cubic meters of merbau timber in time for the Olympic games to be held in Bejing. Merbau -- a dark hardwood found in the rainforests of New Guinea -- is used for hardwood floors and currently commands prices of up to US$138 per square meter, making the proposal potentially worth more than a billion dollars
This article uses information from the ITTO Tropical Timber Market Report.