1. Europe is an important
consumer of forest products. Its world share
by product group is:
Paper and paperboard
These shares have generally remained stable for
the past 25 years, although the volume of products
consumed has risen in the case of wood-based panels
and paper and paperboard products, while declining
or remaining static for fuelwood, industrial
roundwood, and sawnwood.
2. As a region, it is a major importer
and exporter - it accounts for 41% of world
forest product imports (by value) and 43% of
exports. Germany, Italy, France and the UK are the
main importers; Finland, Sweden, Germany, and
France the main exporters.
3. Since 1991 volumes imported have:
increased substantially for industrial roundwood,
but remained relatively static for other
Exports have: grown for sawnwood and
paper and paperboard products.
4. Overall total imports and exports have
remained relatively stable, but specific country
situations have fluctuated more.
5. Much of the trade is intra-Europe with many
countries being both important importers and
exporters. The main exception are:
mainly importers - UK, the
mainly exporters - Nordic countries, East
6. Within product groups there are substantial
differences in trends between different materials,
grades, sizes, etc. This is especially true for
different panel products - types, grades, sizes
etc. Compete with each other.
7. Trade in semi-processed and processed
products has been growing, e.g. laminated lumber,
builders' woodwork, furniture.
8. Dramatic changes occurred in the 1990s as a
result of changes in the former USSR and East
- Major drop in supply for the former USSR
(mainly Russia) in 1990. Followed by recovery
- Recently increased supplies moving to West
Europe, especially from the Baltic countries,
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
- Many new trade flows.
9. Issues affecting markets, but which differ
significantly between markets in their impacts
- effect on supply of environmental pressures;
- regulations on recycling, re-use,
- currency fluctuations;
- Asian financial crisis.
10. Future - ETTS V suggests:
- increased demand in Europe;
supply potential in Europe will
increase but the region will increase its
net import position.