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Global Wood, Paper and Fiber Industry Analysis


This section is one level down from the wider chemicals and materials industry.


The global paper and paperboard market is worth over $320 billion according to research from MarketLine. The market is expected to maintain a yearly growth rate of 4% over the five-year period ending 2015, at which point it should hit more than $390 billion. Paper and paperboard are used to make all sorts of paper including that used for general printing, newsprint, sanitary paper, household paper, industrial paper, packaging, containerboard, pulp, and tissue.


Environmental factors equally come to play in the production of wood, which is a widely used building material. Like paper, it can be reused or recycled, it can also be renewed and has the advantage of storing carbon. Unlike other building materials such as steel and concrete, wood production uses less energy and when burned it has a lower rate of carbon emissions.


Closely linked to the wood and paper industries, the global fiber market is showing strong growth, with production up almost 9%, surpassing the 73 million ton mark, according to textile and fiber industry producer Lenzing AG. Manmade cellulose fiber production grew almost 13% in 2010 from 2009. In 2010, synthetics represented more than 58% of overall fiber demand. Cotton accounted for almost 34% of fiber demand, followed by metal matrix composite fibers at under 6% and wool at just over 1.5%.


Economic Impact


According to the American Forest and Paper Association the industry employs nearly 400,000 people directly, representing yearly salary payments of around $30 billion. Close to two thirds of US paper consumption in 2010 became recycled; paper recovery has risen almost 80% in the US over the past two decades. The US forest products industry employs close to one million people in green jobs and is among the 10 leading employers in manufacturing.


Paper and Paperboard Export *In US$ Bn - 2010



Leading Regional Markets


Wood: According to the American Forest & Paper Association, the US wood industry represents $22 billion yearly earnings. There are 1,000 wood products manufacturing facilities throughout the US, producing $70 billion worth of product shipments.


Forest products & Paper: The US forest products industry produces close to 29 million megawatt hours of annual energy and represents 5% of the country’s manufacturing gross domestic product, equaling that of the plastics and automotive industries. Paper and packaging in the US represent yearly sales worth $115 billion, according to the American Forest & Paper Association.


Paper & Paperboard: The Asia-Pacific paper and paperboard market is estimated to grow at an annual rate of over 5% for the five-year period ending 2015, at which point it will be worth almost $170 billion, according to MarketLine.


 US Forest Products Imports - 2010



Market Outlook


Revenue from the US printing and writing paper market are being challenged by competition from imports and electric communication. Paper is manufactured in paper mills from recycled materials and pulp to make a range of products such as reams, bulk paperboard and paper rolls. Paper mill output is sold to downstream paper product manufacturers, whose products include stationery, and treated paper. As consumers turn to electronic alternatives, the demand for writing and printing paper continues to decline.


The sustainable management of forests is playing an increasingly key role in the production of wood-based products. Wood is used to produce materials such as paper products, lumber and furniture. The demand for these products is driven by individual consumers and industries such as construction. To secure future supplies, the earth’s natural forest resources must be protected and replenished. At the other end, recycling of wood and paper-based products is also key in environmentally responsible business practices. Stricter laws and regulations will come into play to sustain natural resources and combat illegal production of wood; it is estimated that as much as 10% of global wood production is illegal.



Leading Associations




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Topics under Wood, Paper and Fiber

Parent industry:  Manufacturing

Related markets: Wood Products, Carbon Fiber, Biomass, Forestry, Synthetic Fiber, Paperboard, Hardwood, Softwood, Maple, Fir, Firewood, Tissue Products, Cedar, Pulpwood, Paper Mill, Toilet Paper, Wood Chips

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