On the accuracy of international forest product statistics
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 input–output coefﬁcients. The results suggested that for the 3-year average 2013–2015, 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.