On the accuracy of international forest product statistics

  • Authors: Buongiorno, Joseph
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research
  • DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpy025


To judge the accuracy of international forest product statistics, we checked the consistency of the reported con- sumption of wood and fiber with the production of wood products. Using goal programming, we estimated for 180 countries the consumption of industrial roundwood and of paper-making fibers nearest to the reported consump- tion, given the reported production of sawnwood, wood-based panels, pulp and paper and paperboard, and prior estimates of the inputoutput coefficients. The results suggested that for the 3-year average 20132015, industrial roundwood consumption was under-reported in 57 countries by a total amount of 368 million m3   and over reported in 44 countries by a total of 16 million m3. The largest under-reporting was for China for which the reported consumption of industrial roundwood was 237 million m3, or 57 per cent less than the estimated. The lar- gest over reporting was for India, by 11 million m3, or 24 per cent. For paper-making fibers, reported consumption was less than the estimated in 62 countries for a total of 11.3 million t, and it was more than the estimated in 61 countries, for a total of 3.2 million t. The largest under-reported amount was for India: 2.6 million t, or 20 per cent of the estimated, a difference that was entirely attributed to the under-reporting of recovered paper consumption. The largest over reported consumption of paper-making fibers was for Spain, nearly 1 million t, or 24 per cent, attributed to over reporting of recovered paper consumption. The main source of the discrepancies was in the pro- duction statistics rather than trade. Only in some instances was the presumption of illegal logging consistent with the discrepancy, or lack thereof, between reported and estimated consumption of industrial roundwood.


  • Citation: Buongiorno, Joseph. 2018. On the accuracy of international forest product statistics. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. 91(5): 541-551. 11 p.  https://doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpy025.
  • Posted Date: November 5, 2018
  • Modified Date: November 8, 2018
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.