Forest products markets research in the face of structural changes

Outlook studies have exceptionally long roots in the forest sector.

These studies have taken many shapes, but typically they have produced projections showing the expected trends for the major forest products markets for a couple of decades ahead, based on the continuous growth of population and income. In the period extending from the 1960s until the beginning of the 21st century, these projections have been actualized remarkably well.

In the 2000s, the operating environment of the forest-based sector has changed fundamentally. This can be seen clearly in a figure comparing the GDP per capita and the consumption per capita of the main forest products over the past two decades. Clearly, the set of market drivers have become more diversified in the 2000s, with e.g. policies driving up bioenergy demand and the increased use of electronic media driving down the demand for newsprint. A more systematic presentation on the structural changes of the forest products markets can be found, e.g., from Paul Rogieux’s doctoral dissertation (2017).