Overview of China’s timber processing industry

According to the local press, the China Green Times, the output value of China’s timber processing and wood products industries in 2018 was RMB1.3 trillion, accounting for 17% of the total output value of China forestry sector.

Wood-based panel industry

There are about 10,000 wood-based panel enterprises with 3 million direct and indirect employees in China. The total output of the national wood-based panel sector was almost 300 million cubic metres in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 1.4%. Twenty five provinces in the country have woodbased panel enterprises of which production the capacity in seven provinces exceeded 10 million cubic metres.

The wood-based panel sector in China has undergone transformation and out-dated production methods have been phase-out. More than 3,000 plywood enterprises have been closed across the whole country and around 600 fibreboard plants have ceased operation along with over 1,000 particleboard plants. The number of large and medium-sized wood-based panel enterprises has increased and the technological base has been strengthened. The application of new low-toxicity or non-toxic environmentfriendly adhesives has accelerated and the quality of output has improved.

Wood flooring industry

There are nearly 3,000 wood flooring enterprises with around 1 million employees in China. The total output of wood and bamboo flooring in 2018 was 789 million cubic metres.

The process of consolidation in the wood flooring industry has accelerated in recent years with a concentration towards dominant brand enterprises. The output of the top ten large-scale enterprises accounts for more than 30% of the total output of the sector.

More and more wood flooring enterprises regard innovation as their development strategy and have invested heavily in R&D to continuously improve their technological innovation. Chinese wood flooring enterprises have over than 8,000 patents.

Wooden furniture industry

As the largest wood processing sector there are nearly 80,000 wooden furniture enterprises with 5 million employees in China. Five major furniture industrial clusters have been established, the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta, Ring Bohai Sea, the Northeast and the West regions. These account for 90% of the national furniture production capacity.

The wooden furniture industry is consolidating and some of small and medium-sized enterprises have withdrawn such that the total output and sales by the sector has dropped.

On the other hand, the custom/tailor made furniture sector has become a new growth point in the furniture industry to meet increasing demand for individuality.

This sector has expanded at around 20% annually for many years. The size of the domestic customised furniture market was about RMB290 billion in 2018.

Wood door industry

The output of China’s wooden door sector is said to be the highest in the world and China is also the main wooden door consumer market. The total output value of the national wooden door sector was about RMB140 billion in 2018, an increase of 11% over the same period in the previous year. There are more than 10,000 wooden door enterprises in China and these are found mainly in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta, Ring Bohai Sea, Northeast, Southwest and Northwest regions. Growth in the wooden door sector is slowing and the pace of consolidation is growing.

Analysts expect production will be further concentrated in large-scale, mechanised plants. More and more wooden door enterprises have increase R&D and introduced automation.

Wooden building sector

Demand for wooden framed buildings is growing and the wooden building sector is expanding fast especially for the leisure, agricultural, tourism, real estate and landscape markets. There have also been developments in the multistory wooden structures and the public building market.

It has been estimated that the wood structure market will be around 4.5 million square metres annually over the next three years. There are around 1,200 wooden structure enterprises in China found mainly in Eastern China, Northern China and the Northeast regions. Tourism development projects, residential buildings and garden landscaping are the most important three major markets for wooden structures.

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