New Record High for Globally Traded Wood Chips in 2016 with the Pacific Rim Accounting for 70% of Total Imports Followed by Finland, Sweden and Turkey
Over the past 15 years, global trade of wood chips has gone up almost 75%, mainly because of major expansion of pulp capacity in China. By far the two largest importing countries are China and Japan, followed by Finland, Sweden and Turkey.
SEATTLE, April 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Global trade of wood chips has seen spectacular development the past 15 years with a steady increase of about four percent annually (volumes year-over-year were up 11 of the past 14 years), according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). In 2016, an estimated 35.6 million tons were shipped, predominantly to pulp mills in China and Japan, which can be compared to only 21 million tons 15 years ago. While trade of hardwood chips reached a record high in 2016, shipments of softwood chips have levelled out the past few years with 2016 volumes being slightly lower than the ten-year average.
Japan and China are by far the two dominant consumers of globally traded wood chips. Their dominance is particularly accentuated for hardwood chips, where they imported 84 percent of the world’s total imports in 2016, up from 75 percent in 2007. China has surpassed Japan as the largest importer of chips in the world, and with expansion of pulp capacity on the horizon in China, it is likely that the country will be the number one destination for wood chips for many years to come (see further details in a special report in the latest issue of the WRQ).