British Columbia and Russia are predicted to be the big winners of China’s wood deficit according to the International Wood Markets Group.

New Zealand and the North American west coast are also expected to benefit from China’s growing demand for imported wood.

Wood Markets, which has produced a five-year outlook report on the issue, said China’s potential fibre-supply gap is projected to reach about 150 million m³ by 2015 – a volume exceeding the entire Canadian timber harvest in 2009.

Russian logs, which have represented 65% of China’s total log imports over the past four years, have become more expensive since the imposition of Russia’s log export tax.

Against this background, China needs to grow its raw material supply at 8-10% per year to achieve its target growth rate.

Wood Markets forecasts a potential global log export supply that will only allow China to grow its annual import supply at just 3-4% after 2011.