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Trends in the U.S. forest products sector, markets, and technologies

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Espinoza, Omar

Year Published

2020

Publication

In: Dockry, Michael J.; Bengston, David N.; Westphal, Lynne M., comps. Drivers of change in U.S. forests and forestry over the next 20 years. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-197.

Abstract

The forest products sector plays a critical role in the economic and social well-being of the United States. The country is the top producer and consumer of forest products, and it has the highest per capita industrial wood consumption. Nevertheless, the country’s forest area has not changed in over a century, owing in part to sound forest management practices and a strong tradition of wood utilization. Cyclical and long-term trends, such as the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, changing consumer demand, globalization of manufacturing, and emergence of substitute materials, have had negative impacts on the U.S. forest products industry in the last two decades. Sustainable management of U.S. forests has in turn been negatively affected, as strong forest products markets are vital to the health and resilience of U.S. forest lands and forest-dependent communities. However, there are promising opportunities for the forest products sector, including increased interest in renewable materials and energy, increasing demand for wood-based energy products, expanding nanotechnology applications, the emergence of mass timber, and increased use of wood in large-scale construction. This paper presents the major market trends affecting the U.S. forest products sector and discusses potential scenarios over the next 20 years.

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Citation

Espinoza, Omar. 2020. Trends in the U.S. forest products sector, markets, and technologies. In: Dockry, Michael J.; Bengston, David N.; Westphal, Lynne M., comps. Drivers of change in U.S. forests and forestry over the next 20 years. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-197. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 26–49. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-P-197-paper4.

Last updated on: November 18, 2020