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Published: 05 October 1999

Following are highlights of the UN/ECE Timber Committee market statement, chosen by the secretariat:

  • ECE region countries expressed optimism for the new millennium as forest products consumption increases.
  • Production and consumption of many forest products in Europe and North America were at record levels in 1998 and some were forecast to increase in 1999 and 2000.
  • Housing markets in North America remain strong and are recovering in Europe thus increasing the demand for sawnwood and wood-based panels.
  • Harvests of roundwood are forecast to increase and recycled fibre is increasingly used too. (Work on forest resources, to be published shortly, shows that temperate and boreal forest resources are continuing to expand in most parts of the region).
  • In the Russian Federation considerable optimism was expressed for most forest products market sectors in 1999 and 2000.
  • Initial recovery of the Japanese imports following the 1998 Asian economic crisis has helped ECE region exporters.
  • Strengthening demand within the ECE region and further recovery of Asian demand could resolve the subregional oversupply of some panel products and pulpwood (including chips).

The Timber Committee continues to follow market developments for certified forest products which come from forests meeting recognized standards for sustainable management. Highlights in autumn 1999 are:

  • The area of certified forests is increasing and currently potential supply exceeds consumer demand.
  • A wide choice of certification systems is now in place.
  • Some governments have found certification a valuable means to inform the public about sustainable forest management and the environmental benefits of renewable forest products.
  • Some companies currently justify investment in systems for production and trade of certified forest products other than by direct financial benefits.

The official text adopted at the UN/ECE Timber Committee Session is attached and includes forecasts for production, consumption and trade of forest products at the regional level. The text will be combined with full statistics and forecasts for 1998-2000 in "Forest products markets in 1999 and prospects for 2000," number 6 of the Timber Bulletin. Most of this information is available on the Timber Committee website.

For further information please contact:

Mr. Ed Pepke

Timber Section, Trade Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone: (+ 41 22) 917 2872
Fax: (+ 41 22) 917 0041
E-mail: Ed.Pepke@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org/trade/timber

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

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