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The objective of the study was to review past trends on the consumption, production and trade for forest products in the Asia-Pacific region, and to project them to the year 2010.

The outlook is based on an analysis of the development of production, consumption and trade in relation to the performance of economies. The first part of the report reviews the historical (1962-1992) developments of consumption, production and trade of detailed forest products in the region. In the second part, a dynamic spatial equilibrium model of the Asia-Pacific forest sector is applied to forecast the future trends (1993-2010).

The review shows that the forest sector in the Asia-Pacific region has expanded greatly in the last three decades. The total consumption of roundwood has nearly doubled between 1962 and 1992, from 593 million m3 to 1,161 million m3, while production increased from 576 million m3 to 1,100 million m3 over the same period. The Asia-Pacific region has been the world's largest exporter of tropical hardwoods, led by Malaysia with 13.4 million m3 in 1992. The Philippines and Indonesia were leading exporters in the 1960s and 1970s, but the exports declined significantly since 1980 due to the imposition of log export bans. On the import side, Japan has been the dominant importer of forest products in the region for decades.

The forecasts indicate that the Asia-Pacific demand for forest products will continue to rise, as rapidly growing economies are concentrated in the region. The total roundwood consumption will reach 1,353 million m3 by the year 2010, an increase of 20% from the 1992's level. Coupled with the rising consumption, production of forest products will reach 1,300 million m3 by the year 2010. The region's shares of world's total consumption and production are projected to increase from 33% to 35% and from 32% to 33%, respectively, over that period. While Malaysia will still be the largest exporter, exports from New Zealand, Australia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea will increase. Moreover, Japan will remain the leading importer, even though its domestic production is projected to increase by 12% between 1992 and 2010.

The market equilibrium model underlying the forecasts gives fully consistent forecasts of quantities produced, consumed and traded, within the Asia-Pacific and between the region and the rest of the world. It also provides forecasts of the market-clearing prices. The real prices of industrial roundwood and sawnwood are projected to increase slowly until the year 2010. The real prices of wood-based panels and of paper and paperboard would change little.

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