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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

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

Jonsson, Ragnar


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.


future; global; wood products; scenario analysis; critical uncertainties; pulp and paper; globalization; construction component; ICT

Published in

2011, volume: 2, number: 1, pages: 147-167
Publisher: MDPI AG

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre

Associated SLU-program

SLU Future Forests

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG7 Affordable and clean energy
SDG8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)