Top 20 Timber Exporting Countries in the World

The timber industry is an important part of the global wood market. Timber is any wood that is sawn into planks and beams. Asia Pacific serves to dominate the timber market by its high market share.

The high market share is due to increased incomes, urbanization, and population growth. The timber consumption rates are high, especially in countries like China. China is one of the world’s largest importers of sawn wood. This can be attributed to the Chinese furniture market. The main producers of timber in the APAC region include countries like India, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The fastest growing region around the world is North America which is expected to grow at a high compound annual growth rate till 2028. However, Latin America and Middle East Africa have low market shares.

In another report by Fact.MR, it was reported that Europe is the leading manufacturer of sawn timber. This region is also following green building codes, so they consume wood as a sustainable option in buildings, thereby decreasing carbon footprint.

In order to find out the top 20 largest timber exporting countries in the world, data was sourced from the FAO Forestry Production and Trade Database. FAO reports that it “segregates timber products into five general categories: roundwood, sawnwood and sleepers, wood-based panels, wood pulp, paper and paperboard”. Here, roundwood includes both industrial roundwood and non-industrial roundwood.

Furthermore, non-industrial roundwood is excluded from the trade data on FAO as it has a low value per unit of volume. Thus, excluding non-industrial roundwood, the categories of industrial roundwood, sawnwood and sleepers, wood-based panels, wood pulp, paper and paperboard were used to define ‘timber’. Export volume as of 2021 as a metric was used.

Top 20 Largest Timber Exporting Countries in the World

20. Romania
Export Volume: US$2.04 Billion
One of the largest exporters of timber is Romania. It has old-growth forests in abundance which are now under the threat of legal and illegal logging. A large portion of the overall forestry is subject to illegal logging. Most of the timber is exported to Italy, the US, and China.

19. India
Export Volume: US$2.05 Billion
India is one of the largest producers of tropical wood in the world. The United States, China, and Nepal are among its top export destinations. However, the country’s exports are affected by unsustainable forestry and illegal logging.

18. Uruguay
Export Volume US$2.3 Billion
Another top timber exporter is Uruguay. It is known for its native forests. Eucalyptus, pine, blackwood, and hybrid poplar are suitable for timber plantations in this region.

17. Latvia
Export Volume: US$2.4 Billion
A large part of Latvia is covered with forests, making it a potential timber market. The country’s largest industry is timber processing. It exports to the UK, Germany, and Sweden.

16. Malaysia
Export Volume: US$2.5 Billion
The Malaysian timber market has managed to stay vibrant. Plywood, sawn wood, and furniture are exported from Malaysia to Japan, the US, Singapore, and India.

15. Portugal
Export Volumes: US$2.9 Billion
Another significant exporter of timber is Portugal. It has a sustainable wood sector, having an abundance of forests. The most common plantation is of Eucalyptus.

14. The Czech Republic
Export Volume: US$3 Billion
One of the most forested countries in Europe, The Czech Republic, is one of the important timber producers in the world. It exchanges timber with countries like China, Austria, Romania, and Slovakia.

13. Thailand
Export Volume: US$3.5 Billion
Another leading timber exporter is Thailand. Often, para rubber wood or imported logs here are used as an alternative to banned hardwood logging, as a result of deforestation.

12. Chile
Export Volume: US$4.5 Billion
One of the leading timber exporters in the world is Chile. An extensive part of the country is filled with native forests. It exports timber to the US, China, Japan and Mexico.

11. New Zealand
Export Volume: US$4.8 Billion
Forestry is a key sector in New Zealand’s economy, making it the eleventh-largest export of timber in the world. Top export destinations for New Zealand include China, Japan, Korea and Australia.

10. France
Export Volume: US$6.9 Billion
Another top timber exporter is France. It exports sawn timber, veneer, plywood, joinery, and paper products to countries such as Spain, Italy, and the United States.

9. Austria
Export Volume: US$7.7 Billion
The timber market in Austria is flourishing. The country has one of the highest shares of forests in Europe. Italy, Germany, The Czech Republic and the UK are among Austria’s export destinations.

8. Russia
Export Volume: US$10 Billion
Russia is one of the largest suppliers of timber in the world. Russia has been redirecting its timber to Middle Eastern and North African countries due to sanctions on trade from the West after its Ukrainian invasion. It is one of the largest producers of industrial roundwood. In 2021, the country exported $10 billion worth of timber.

7. Brazil
Export Volume: US$11.2 Billion
Brazil exports plywood, joinery, furniture, pulp and paper, and sawn wood around the world. A major portion of the country is covered with forests It is the seventh largest exporter of timber.

6. Finland
Export Volume: US$14.3 Billion
One of the largest exporters of timber in the world is Finland. It exports timber to Germany, the United States, Sweden, and China.

5. China
Export Volume: US$14.8 Billion
China exports plywood, sawn wood, and veneer to different parts of the world such as the United States, Japan and the UK. Guangxi is the biggest timber-producing province in China.

4. Sweden
Export Volume: US$16.8 Billion
Almost 70% of Sweden is covered with forests, contributing to its timber export market. Its export markets include the United States, China, and the Middle East.

3. United States of America
Export Volume: US$21.7 Billion
The United States is another significant exporter of timber. It exports products such as maple, red oak, white oak and yellow poplar to countries including China, Canada, Vietnam, and Mexico.

2. Germany
Export Volume: US$24.2 Billion
Germany serves to be the second biggest timber exporter in the world. China, Austria, USA, and Poland are among the major destinations for Germany’s timber. Germany is one of Europe’s densely wooded regions.

1. Canada
Export Volume: US$29.7 Billion
One of the world’s largest producers and exporters of softwood timber is Canada. The major destinations for these exports are the United States and Western Europe. China and Japan have also been prominent importers of Canadian timber.

Source: Insider Monkey


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