Who are the Biggest Timber Producers in the World?
Timber production is a major industry all around the globe, used in various landscaping, fencing and building projects from fence panels to timber framed buildings, but do you know which countries rank as the biggest timber producers? The use of wood in construction, furniture, paper, and other essential products has influenced the growth of these markets worldwide. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of the top wood and timber producers, examining their output, sustainability practices, and more.
The Global Timber Leaders
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the top wood and timber producing countries in 2020 are:
- United States: 298.7 million cubic meters
- Russia: 214.8 million cubic meters
- China: 212.4 million cubic meters
- Canada: 155.4 million cubic meters
- Brazil: 150.9 million cubic meters
The United States tops the list of timber producers, with a focus on softwood timber, including pine, spruce, and fir. The country has abundant forest resources spread across the Pacific Northwest, Southeast, and Northeast regions. The US is a major exporter of wood products, sharing a large portion of its output with countries such as China, Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, the US promotes sustainable forestry practices, ensuring a balance between supply and future availability of wood resources.
Russia stands as the second-largest timber producer, with a voluminous 8.1 million hectares of forest cover. The country has rich wood resources from the vast Siberian forests—primarily spruce, pine, and birch. Russia invests in sustainable practices, utilising only a small percentage of its available annual growth. Furthermore, the Russian government is putting efforts to curb illegal logging, which often causes environmental and economic losses.
China has significantly increased its timber production over the past two decades, making it the third-largest timber producer in the world. Due to the rapid growth of their economy, the demand for wood products has skyrocketed. To meet this demand, China heavily relies on imports, particularly from Russia, and has implemented widespread afforestation programs. These programs aim to increase domestic timber production and efficiently manage their forest resources.
Canada is renowned for its vast forests, covering approximately 347 million hectares. The country primarily focuses on softwood timber, producing various types of spruce, pine, and fir. Although it ranks fourth in timber production, Canada is a global leader in sustainable forestry practices, with over 36% of the world's certified forests located within its borders. The Canadian government closely monitors and actively promotes responsible forest management, avoiding the overexploitation of resources.
Brazil, the fifth-largest timber producer, has abundant forest resources with the Amazon rainforest being their most well-known. The country primarily produces tropical hardwoods like teak, ipe, and eucalyptus. Recent efforts in sustainable forest management and combating illegal logging have contributed to the industry's growth. Renewable plantation forests in southern Brazil have also helped to maintain a steady supply of timber for their expanding market.