China’s timber processing industry (Part 1)

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%. 25 provinces in the country have wood-based panel enterprises of which production capacity in seven provinces exceeded 10 million cubic metres.

The wood-based panel sector in China has undergone transformation and outdated production methods are being phased out.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 also strengthened. The application of new low-toxicity or non-toxic environment friendly 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The wooden furniture industry is consolidating and some of small and medium-sized enterprises have withdrawn such that the total output and sales by the sector has dropped.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.


Source: ITTO