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 Top 20 Largest Timber Exporting Countries in the World
[Sep 22,  2023]


Timber most commonly refers to the wood of trees that can or will be used for building material. A stage in wood production where wood can produce a minimum dimensional size can be classified as timber. Thus, processed beams and planks are timber. It is also referred to as lumber in the United States and Canada.

Timber can be divided into hardwood and softwood. Hardwood comes from an angiosperm tree. The timber obtained from hardwood trees is generally dense and heavy as these trees grow slower and take almost 150 years to harvest. Examples of hardwoods include walnut, ash maple, and oak. On the contrary, softwood timber is derived from gymnosperm and this timber is lightweight since it grows faster and becomes ready to harvest in almost 40 years. Softwood timber includes cedars, spruces, firs, and pines.

The Timber Industry

The timber industry is an important part of the global wood market. Timber is any wood that is sawn into planks and beams. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the sawn wood market is currently valued at $751.77 million and is expected to grow to $780 million in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 0.74%.

Asia Pacific serves to dominate the timber market by its high market share. The high market share is due to increased incomes, urbanization, and population growth. The timber consumption rates are high, especially in countries like China. China is one of the world¡¯s largest importers of sawn wood. This can be attributed to the Chinese furniture market. The main producers of timber in the APAC region include countries like India, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The fastest growing region around the world is North America which is expected to grow at a high compound annual growth rate till 2028. However, Latin America and Middle East Africa have low market shares.

In another report by Fact.MR, it was reported that Europe is the leading manufacturer of sawn timber. This region is also following green building codes so they consume wood as a sustainable option in buildings, thereby decreasing carbon footprint.

Major companies in the Timber Industry
--  Weyerhaeuser Company
--  LIXIL Group
--  UFP Industries, Inc.
--  JELD-WEN Inc.
--  West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
--  Canfor Corporation
--  Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
--  upm-kymmene oyj
--  Builders FirstSource

Some of the known timber market players in the United States include UFP Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPI), Boise Cascade Company (NYSE:BCC), Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY), and Jewett Cameron Trading Co (NASDAQ:JCTCF).

UFP Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPI) is a Michigan-based company that started off as a lumber supplier for manufacturing houses. Now, it operates in retail, packaging, and construction segments. It supplies wood and non-wood composites in Asia, North America, Australia, and Europe.

Boise Cascade Company (NYSE:BCC) is another leading name in the North American lumber industry. It produces lumber, panels, and engineered wood products for the residential and construction markets.

Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) is one of the largest wood product manufacturers. It owns many hectares of forests in the United States and works as a real estate investment trust.

Based in Oregon, Jewett Cameron Trading Co (NASDAQ:JCTCF) manufactures and distributes wood products. It operates in the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and Asia Pacific through three segments. The first segment, Industrial Wood Products supplies industrial wood. The Pet, Fencing and Other segment engages in producing fencing and pet supplies. Furthermore, the company also distributes seeds for agriculture through its Seed Processing and Sales segment.

Recent Trends and Challenges

The timber industry has given rise to the trend of low-carbon constructions. Timber is considered to be less carbon-intensive and hence it plays a significant role in energy efficiency. Thus, the carbon footprints of buildings are being reduced. Mass timber is being consumed for this purpose.

The demand for the timber market keeps on increasing. An increase in income has led to a rise in the consumption of timber since it implies more money spent on housing and building. Furthermore, urbanization and high population growth in countries around the world have also led to an increase in the demand for timber. Flooring, fencing, furniture making, and construction also require timber which further boosts this market. Sawn timber is also being used in the production of pallets. These pallets are utilized for packaging.

However, this industry is subject to concerns related to deforestation and its impact on biodiversity. This is evident from the New South Wales' situation regarding the timber market. On August 26, MSN reported that bans on logging are to be imposed in surrounding areas like Victoria and Western Australia. Hence, the timber workers in New South Wales are worried about their future. A Great Koala National Park has also been announced by the government in the thick forests of the region. Only a minor portion of the native forests is available for timber harvesting. In this condition, the task at hand is to accommodate the Koalas in a natural habitat while preserving the timber market which fuels the economy of New South Wales.

Now that we have taken a look at the timber industry and its current situation, we can move to the top 20 largest timber exporting countries.


In order to find out the top 20 largest timber exporting countries in the world, we sourced data from the FAO Forestry Production and Trade Database. We carried out extensive research to see how timber is represented in this database. FAO reports that it ¡°segregates timber products into 5 general categories: roundwood, sawnwood and sleepers, wood-based panels, wood pulp, paper and paperboard¡±. Here, roundwood includes both industrial roundwood and non-industrial roundwood.

Furthermore, non-industrial roundwood is excluded from the trade data on FAO as it has a low value per unit of volume. Thus, excluding non-industrial roundwood, we considered the categories of industrial roundwood, sawnwood and sleepers, wood-based panels, wood pulp, paper and paperboard to define ¡®timber¡¯. We used export volume as of 2021 as a metric. Please note that ¡®timber¡¯ represents the above categories whenever mentioned in this article. We added the dollar value of exports for all timber categories to find the total export volume, as quoted in the rankings. Finally, we ranked the top 20 largest timber exporting countries in ascending order of the dollar value of their exports, as follows:

Top 20 Largest Timber Exporting Countries in the World

1. Canada
Export Volume: $29.7 Billion

One of the world¡¯s largest producers and exporters of softwood timber is Canada. The major destinations for these exports are the United States and Western Europe. China and Japan have also been prominent importers of Canadian timber. As of 2021, Canada exported timber worth $29.7 billion.

2. Germany
Export Volume: $24.2 Billion

Germany serves to be the second biggest timber exporter in the world. China, Austria, USA, and Poland are among the major destinations for Germany¡¯s timber. Germany is one of Europe¡¯s densely wooded regions. In 2021, the country exported $24.2 billion worth of timber.

3. United States of America
Export Volume: $21.7 Billion

The United States is another significant exporter of timber. It exports products such as maple, red oak, white oak and yellow poplar to countries including China, Canada, Vietnam, and Mexico. The country exported timber worth $21.7 billion in 2021.

4. Sweden
Export Volume: $16.8 Billion

Almost 70% of Sweden is covered with forests, contributing to its timber export market. Its export markets include the United States, China, and the Middle East. In 2021, Sweden exported timber worth $16.8 billion.

5. China
Export Volume: $14.8 Billion

China exports plywood, sawn wood, and veneer to different parts of the world such as the United States, Japan and the UK. Guangxi is the biggest timber-producing province in China. The country exported timber worth $14.8 billion in 2021, making it one of the most significant timber exporters in the world.

6. Finland
Export Volume: $14.3 Billion

One of the largest exporters of timber in the world is Finland. It exports timber to Germany, the United States, Sweden, and China. In 2021, the country exported timber worth $14.3 billion.

7. Brazil
Export Volume: $11.2 Billion

Brazil exports plywood, joinery, furniture, pulp and paper, and sawn wood around the world. A major portion of the country is covered with forests It is the seventh largest exporter of timber, supplying timber worth $11.2 billion in 2021.

8. Russia
Export Volume: $10 Billion

Russia is one of the largest suppliers of timber in the world. Russia has been redirecting its timber to Middle Eastern and North African countries due to sanctions on trade from the West after its Ukrainian invasion. It is one of the largest producers of industrial roundwood. In 2021, the country exported $10 billion worth of timber.

9. Austria
Export Volume: $7.7 Billion

The timber market in Austria is flourishing. The country has one of the highest shares of forests in Europe. Italy, Germany, The Czech Republic and the UK are among Austria¡¯s export destinations. Austria exported timber worth $7.7 billion in 2021.

10. France
Export Volume: $6.9 Billion

Another top timber exporter is France. It exports sawn timber, veneer, plywood, joinery, and paper products to countries such as Spain, Italy, and the United States. In 2021, the country exported timber worth $6.9 billion.

11. New Zealand
Export Volume: $4.8 Billion

Forestry is a key sector in New Zealand¡¯s economy, making it the eleventh-largest export of timber in the world. Top export destinations for New Zealand include China, Japan, Korea and Australia. It exported $4.8 billion worth of timber in 2021.

12. Chile
Export Volume: $4.5 Billion

One of the leading timber exporters in the world is Chile. An extensive part of the country is filled with native forests. It exports timber to the US, China, Japan and Mexico. In 2021, Chile exported $4.5 billion worth of timber.

13. Thailand
Export Volume: $3.5 Billion

Another leading timber exporter is Thailand. Often, para rubber wood or imported logs here are used as an alternative to banned hardwood logging, as a result of deforestation. In 2021, the country exported $3.5 billion worth of timber.

14. The Czech Republic
Export Volume: $3 Billion

One of the most forested countries in Europe, The Czech Republic, is one of the important timber producers in the world. It exchanges timber with countries like China, Austria, Romania, and Slovakia. The country exported timber worth $3 billion in 2021.

15. Portugal
Export Volumes: $2.9 Billion

Another significant exporter of timber is Portugal. It has a sustainable wood sector, having an abundance of forests. The most common plantation is of Eucalyptus. The country exported $2.9 billion worth of timber in 2021.

16. Malaysia
Export Volume:$2.5 Billion

The Malaysian timber market has managed to stay vibrant. Plywood, sawn wood, and furniture are exported from Malaysia to Japan, the US, Singapore, and India. In 2021, Malaysia exported timber worth $2.5 billion, thereby becoming one of the largest exporters of timber in the world.

17. Latvia
Export Volume: $2.4 Billion

A large part of Latvia is covered with forests, making it a potential timber market. The country¡¯s largest industry is timber processing. It exports to the UK, Germany, and Sweden. In 2021, Latvia exported timber worth $2.4 billion.

18. Uruguay
Export Volume: $2.3 Billion

Another top timber exporter is Uruguay. It is known for its native forests. Eucalyptus, pine, blackwood, and hybrid poplar are suitable for timber plantations in this region. The country exported timber worth $2.3 billion in 2021.

19. India
Export Volume: $2.05 Billion

India is one of the largest producers of tropical wood in the world. The United States, China, and Nepal are among its top export destinations. However, the country¡¯s exports are affected by unsustainable forestry and illegal logging. In 2021, India exported $2.05 billion worth of timber.

20. Romania
Export Volume: $2.04 Billion

One of the largest exporters of timber is Romania. It has old-growth forests in abundance which are now under the threat of legal and illegal logging. A large portion of the overall forestry is subject to illegal logging. Most of the timber is exported to Italy, the US, and China. In 2021, the country exported timber worth $2.04 billion.

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