Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 25 > Issue 1

Global paper market forecasts to 2030 under future internet demand scenarios

Craig M.T. Johnston,
Suggested Citation
Craig M.T. Johnston (2016), "Global paper market forecasts to 2030 under future internet demand scenarios", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 25: No. 1, pp 14-28.

Publication Date: 0/12/2016
© 0 2016 Craig M.T. Johnston
JEL Codes:C53C61F17L73O13Q17Q23
Forest sector modelingInternetNewsprintPaperPulpTrade


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The Global Forest Products Model (GFPM) was applied to forecast the effect of increased per capita Internet adoption on the global paper products industry to 2030. Two scenarios were examined: (a) full per capita Internet adoption by 2100, and (b) more rapidly by 2050. Global newsprint consumption is estimated to be 34.2–37.1 million tonnes lower in 2030 than in the US Forest Service 2010 Resources Planning Act report, and the 2010 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Similarly, global printing and writing paper consumption is forecasted to be 76.7–87.1 million tonnes lower by 2030. By including controls for per capita Internet use in the demand equations for print based media, this article reflects the recent declines in global paper product consumption. Out-of-sample forecasts over a two-year period indicate global model prediction errors from 0 to 3%, depending on the product and exogenous assumptions. The results highlight the importance of considering market evolution in long-term global forecasting, and a failure to account for future rates of Internet adoption will result in an upward bias on paper product market forecasts.