Timber & Forest Products



  • #1 in Hardboard, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), Plywood, Sawn Wood (Non-Coniferous), Veneer Sheets, Wood Residues, Other Fiber Pulp, Printing & Writing Paper, Recovered Paper, Other Paper & Paperboard
  • #2 in Chips & Particles, Particle Board, Newsprint, Semi-Chemical Wood Pulp
  • #4 in Saw Logs & Veneer Logs (Coniferous), Sawn Logs & Veneer Logs (Non-Coniferous),
  • #5 in Sawn Wood (Coniferous)
  • #6 in Wood Charcoal
  • #7 in Insulating Board
  • #8 in Chemical Wood Pulp, Mechanical Wood Pulp

*See below for wood product definitions

In 2011, China produced 45.2 million cubic meters of plywood or 54% of the world’s output. During the same year, China produced 44.5 million cubic meters of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) or 59% of global production, and 37.6 million cubic meters of saw logs & veneer logs (coniferous) or just 6% of global production. Chinese production of sawn wood (non-coniferous) totaled 27.1 million cubic meters or 23% of global production, while production of saw wood & veneer logs (non-coniferous) reached 21.1 million cubic meters or 8% of global output.

China was also a major producer of other paper & paperboard, recording 74.1 million metric tons (MTs) or 28% of global output in 2011. During the same year, China produced 47.4 million MTs of recovered paper or 23% of global production, and 25 million MTs of printing & writing paper (also 23% of global output).



  • #1 is Guangxi Province
  • #2 is Guangdong Province
  • #3 is Hunan, Fujian, and Yunnan Provinces

China’s timber production is largely located in the southern regions of the country. In 2011, Guangxi province produced 15.2 million cubic meters of timber or 19% of China’s total timber output. Guangdong province produced 7.3 million cubic meters (9% of China’s output), while Hunan, Fujian, and Yunnan provinces produced 5.9 million to 5.3 million cubic meters of timber (7% output each).

China Forest Production by Province

Forest Products

  • Tea-Oil Seeds: #1 is Hunan Province, #2 is Jiangxi Province
  • Pine Resin: #1 is Guangxi Province, #2 is Guangdong Province
  • Rubber: #1 is Hainan Island, #2 is Yunnan Province
  • Tung-Oil Seeds: #1 is Henan Province, #2 is Guangxi Province
  • Lacquer: #1 is Hubei Province

Chinese forest products include tea-oil seeds, pine resin, rubber, tung-oil seeds, and lacquer. Tea oil is used as a cooking (stir-fry) oil; pine resin is used for glue, water proofing, or medicinal purposes; tung-oil is used for wood finishing; rubber is used for a wide range of household and industrial products; and lacquer (sap from the Chinese lacquer tree) is used for wood finishing.

In 2011, Guangxi province produced 533,620 MTs of pine resin (46% of Chinese output) and 75,525 MTs of tung-oil seeds (17% of China’s output). Hunan province produced 516,808 MTs of tea-oil seeds (35% of China’s output) and 43,400 MTs of tung-oil seeds (10% of China’s output). Jiangxi province produced 427,212 MTs (29% of China’s output) of tea-oil seeds. Guangdong province produced 190,459 MTs of pine resin (16% of China’s output), while Hubei province produced 7,547 MTs of lacquer (40% of China’s output. Hainan island produced 371,754 MTs of rubber (50% of China’s output) and Yunnan province produced 363,412 MTs of rubber (28% of China’s output).

China Forest Products by Province



  • 1990: 55.7 million cubic meters on 157.1 million hectares of forest
  • 2011: 81.4 million cubic meters on 209.6 million hectares of forest

From 1996 to 2002, Chinese timber production declined an average of 6% annually, with production bottoming out at 44.3 million cubic meters in 2002. From 2003 to 2011, timber production has steadily increased (with the exception of 2009) an average of 7% annually, peaking in 2008 and 2011 at just over 81 million cubic meters. China’s forest area has progressively increased an average of 1% annually from 1996 to 2011.

China Forest Area and Production

Other Forest Products

Tea-Oil Seeds

  • 1990: 523,313 MTs
  • 2011: 1.4 million MTs

Pine Resin

  • 1990: 435,244 MTs
  • 2011: 1.1 million MTs


  • 1990: 264,243 MTs
  • 2011: 750,853 MTs

Tung-Oil Seeds

  • 1990: 350,770 MTs
  • 2011: 437,702 MTs


  • 1990: 2,683 MTs
  • 2011: 18,867 MTs

From 2000 to 2011, both Chinese tea-oil seed and pine resin production increased an average of 6% annually. Rubber production had a slower growth rate of 4% annually, while tung-oil seed production was stagnant with no significant growth. Although the smallest in overall output, lacquer production grew an average of 14% per year over the period.

China Forest Products

Additional Reading

  • “China Paper / China Forest 2013” The 21st International Exhibition and Conference for the Pulp & Paper Industry in Asia; Sep 2013
  • “Forest Financing in China” Wu Zhimin, China State Forestry Administration; Sep 2012


*FAO Definitions:

  • Chemical Wood Pulp: Sulphate (kraft) and soda and sulphite wood pulp except dissolving grades, bleached, semi-bleached and unbleached. Where detail is available, statistics for (un)bleached sulphite pulp and (un)bleached sulphate pulp.
  • Chips & Particles: Wood that has been deliberately reduced to small pieces from wood in the rough or from industrial residues, suitable for pulping, for particle board and fiberboard production, for fuel wood or for other purposes.
  • Hardboard: Hardboard is a type of fiberboard with a density exceeding 0.80 g/cm3.
  • Insulating Board: A type of fiberboard with a density exceeding 0.35 g/ cm3, but not exceeding 0.50 g/ cm3. This commodity used to be labeled “fiberboard non-compressed”.
  • MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is a type of fiberboard with a density exceeding 0.50 g/cm3 but not exceeding 0.80 g/ cm3.
  • Mechanical Wood Pulp: Wood pulp obtained by grinding or milling: coniferous or non-coniferous rounds, quarters, billets, etc. into fibers or through refining coniferous or non-coniferous chips. Also called ground-wood pulp and refiner pulp. It may be bleached or unbleached. It excludes exploded and defibrated pulp, and includes chemi-mechanical and thermo-mechanical pulp.
  • Newsprint: Uncoated paper, unsized (or only slightly sized), containing at least 60% (percentage of fibrous content) mechanical wood pulp, usually weighing not less that 40 g/square m and generally not more than 60 g/square m of the type used mainly for the printing of newspapers.
  • Other Fiber Pulp: Pulp of fibrous vegetable materials other than wood. Including straw, bamboo, bagasse, esparto, other reeds or grasses, cotton linters, flax, hemp, rags, other textile wastes. Used for the manufacture of paper, paperboard and fiberboard.
  • Other Paper & Paperboard: Includes construction paper and paperboard, household and sanitary paper, special thin paper, wrapping and packaging paper and paperboard and other paper and paperboard not elsewhere specified.
  • Particle Board: A sheet material manufactured from small pieces of wood or other ligno-cellulosic materials (e.g. chips, flakes, splinters, strands, shreds, schives, etc.) agglomerated by use of an organic binder together with one or more of the following agents: heat, pressure, humidity, a catalyst, etc. (Flaxboard is included. Wood wool and other particle boards, with inorganic binders, are excluded).
  • Plywood: Plywood, veneer plywood, core plywood including veneered wood, blockboard, laminboard and battenboard. Other plywood such as cellular board and composite plywood. Veneer plywood is plywood manufactured by bonding together more than two veneer sheets. The grain of alternate veneer sheets is crossed generally at right angles. Core plywood is plywood whose core (i.e. central layer, generally thicker than the other plies) is solid and consists of narrow boards, blocks or strips of wood placed side by side, which may or may not be glued together. (This item includes veneered wood in sheets or panels in which a thin veneer of wood is affixed to a base, usually of inferior wood, by glueing under pressure). Cellular board is a plywood with a core of cellular construction while composite plywood is a plywood with core or certain layers made of material other than solid wood or veneers.
  • Printing & Writing Paper: Paper, except newsprint, suitable for printing and business purposes, writing, sketching, drawing, etc., made from a variety of pulp blends and with various finishes. Included are such papers as those used for books and magazines, wallpaper base stock, box lining and covering calculator paper, rotonews, duplicating, tablet or block, label, lithograph, banknote, tabulating card stock, bible or imitation bible, stationary, manifold, onionskin, typewriter, poster, etc.
  • Recovered Paper: Waste and scrap of paper or paperboard. This commodity includes paper and paperboard which has been used for its original purpose and residues from paper conversion. This includes waste and scrap collected for re-use as a raw material for the manufacture of paper and related products.
  • Saw Logs & Veneer Logs: Logs whether or not roughly squared, to be sawn (or chipped) lengthwise for the manufacture of sawn wood or railway sleepers (ties). Shingle bolts and stave bolts are included. Logs for production of veneer, mainly by peeling or slicing. Match billets are included, as are special growth (burls, roots, etc.) used for veneers.
  • Sawn Wood: Sawn wood, unplaned, planed, grooved, tongued, etc., sawn lengthwise, or produced by a profile-chipping process (e.g. planks, beams, joists, boards, rafters, scantlings, laths, boxboards, “lumber”, sleepers, etc.) and planed wood which may also be finger jointed, tongued or grooved, chamfered, rabbeted, V-jointed, beaded, etc. Wood flooring is excluded. With few exceptions, sawn wood exceeds 5 mm. in thickness.
  • Semi-Chemical Wood Pulp: Wood pulp, chemi-mechanical and semi-chemical Wood pulp obtained by subjecting coniferous or non-coniferous wood to a series of mechanical and chemical treatments, none of which alone is sufficient to make the fibres separate readily. According to the order and importance of the treatment, such pulp is variously named: semi-chemical, chemi-groundwood, chemi-mechanical, etc. It may be bleached or unbleached.
  • Veneer Sheets: Thin sheets of wood of uniform thickness, rotary cut, sliced or sawn, for use in plywood, laminated construction, furniture, veneer containers, etc. In production, the quantity given excludes veneer sheets used for plywood production within the country.
  • Wood Charcoal: Wood carbonized by partial combustion or application of heat from an external source. It is used as a fuel or for other uses.
  • Wood Residues: Residues which have not been reduced to small pieces. They consist principally of industrial residues, e.g. sawmill rejects, slabs, edgings and trimmings, veneer log cores, veneer rejects, sawdust, bark (excluding briquettes), residues from carpentry and joinery production, etc.