Asia offers beacon of hope for U.S. and European forest products: UNECEListen /
Asia has become a major market for manufacturers of forest products in Europe and North America, according to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
UNECE says that with the general malaise in the European and American economy, manufacturers have been looking for sales opportunities further afield.
Export of logs from the UNECE region to China grew by 28% between 2010 and 2011, the Russian Federation, the United States and Canada being the major suppliers of sawn softwood exports.
Matt Fonseca is with the UNECE/Food and Agriculture Organization Forestry and Timber Section.
"The economic recovery in the UNECE region has been sluggish. National incomes in one half of the economies have yet to return to the 2008 levels and prospects for even modest growth in 2013 are low. The U.S. housing market is still weak with new housing starts and sales at their lowest level since modern records began 1963. The European housing construction market is also weak with no immediate sign of any housing recovery. It's important to remember that housing is an important user of wood products."