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Forests 2011, 2(1), 147-167; doi:10.3390/f2010147
Article

Trends and Possible Future Developments in Global Forest-Product Markets—Implications for the Swedish Forest Sector

Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, SLU, P.O. Box 49, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
Received: 30 November 2010 / Accepted: 18 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Forests)
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Abstract

This paper analyzes trends and possible future developments in global wood-product markets and discusses implications for the Swedish forest sector. Four possible futures, or scenarios, are considered, based on qualitative scenario analysis. The scenarios are distinguished principally by divergent futures with respect to two highly influential factors driving change in global wood-product markets, whose future development is unpredictable. These so-called critical uncertainties were found to be degrees to which: (i) current patterns of globalization will continue, or be replaced by regionalism, and (ii) concern about the environment, particularly climate change, related policy initiatives and customer preferences, will materialize. The overall future of the Swedish solid wood-product industry looks bright, irrespective of which of the four possible futures occurs, provided it accommodates the expected growth in demand for factory-made, energy-efficient construction components. The prospects for the pulp and paper industry in Sweden appear more ambiguous. Globalization is increasingly shifting production and consumption to the Southern hemisphere, adversely affecting employment and forest owners in Sweden. Further, technical progress in information and communication technology (ICT) is expected to lead to drastic reductions in demand for newsprint and printing paper. Chemical pulp producers may profit from a growing bio-energy industry, since they could manufacture new, high-value products in integrated bio-refineries. Mechanical pulp producers cannot do this, however, and might suffer from higher prices for raw materials and electricity.
Keywords: future; global; wood products; scenario analysis; critical uncertainties; pulp and paper; globalization; construction component; ICT future; global; wood products; scenario analysis; critical uncertainties; pulp and paper; globalization; construction component; ICT
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Jonsson, R. Trends and Possible Future Developments in Global Forest-Product Markets—Implications for the Swedish Forest Sector. Forests 2011, 2, 147-167.

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