According to a recent report by International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), there will be a substantial increase in wood consumption in India by 2030, exacerbating an existing shortfall between wood production and demand and increasing the country’s reliance on wood imports.
Authored by Promode Kant and Raman Nautiyal, the report, India Timber Supply and Demand 2010–2030, analyses India’s timber market dynamics by reviewing historical trends for 2010–2019 and forecasting the likely situation to 2030. The report shows that although India’s forest cover has increased steadily for nearly two decades, timber production is still substantially less than consumption, and an increasingly large proportion of demand is being met by imports.
The report covers three main sections. The first reviews the development of the Indian forest sector over the last decade, including changes in forest cover and timber growing stock.
The second section analyses trends in India’s wood-based industry, including the international trade of roundwood, sawnwood, plywood, fibreboard, hoopwood, pulp and veneer.
The third section of the report provides projections of demand for 2021–2030, based on likely increases in population and income, wood consumption trends, and growth in important wood-based industries. The report concludes with a discussion on how to improve the accuracy of future reports.
The study forecasts a jump of nearly 70% in demand for roundwood in India in the next decade, from 57 million m3 in 2020 to 98 million m3 in 2030, driven largely by the construction sector.
According to the authors, without policy change, India will need to rely heavily on imports to meet this surge in demand because domestic production is restricted by the country’s conservation-oriented forest policy.