Soviet Timber: Regional Supply and Demand, 1970-1990


  • Brenton M. Barr



Economic feasibility, Forests, Lumber industry, Russian Federation


This paper investigates a specific problem, namely the ability of Soviet regional timber resources, particularly those of Northern European Russia and Siberia, to sustain the demands expected to be placed on them by world and domestic markets in 1990, the final year of the fifteen-year intermediate-future planning or forecasting period now guiding much of the national and spatial development of the Soviet economy. Contrary to the findings of other studies, this analysis suggests that the Soviet forest resource has sufficient potential to satisfy all planned domestic requirements and a large share of foreign demand in 1990, and in the years immediately following that date, if technological improvements in the comprehensive use of roundwood continue to be made in the Soviet wood-processing industry. When expected 1990 Soviet timber exports are compared to the United Nation's estimate of world demand for Soviet timber in the year 2000, the USSR appears able to fulfill but not to overwhelm most potential world demand for its timber although world markets will likely continue to secure a significant portion of their coniferous timber needs from North American, especially Canadian forests.