This paper attempts to understand and explain determinants of Turkish demand for foreign timber imported to Turkey. Explanatory variables in the
propounded model include price of imported timber, price of domestically-produced sawlog as an imperfect substitute, income per capita, country
population, and capacity utilization rates (CUR’s) and industrial production indices (IPI’s) of forest industry sectors. For empirical purpose we used
a time series data covering the 15-year period between 1995 and 2009. The econometric model set for there appears to be able to explain more than
96% of the variation in demand for imported timber, with all of the parameter estimates, except for population parameter, being statistically
significant. Estimation results confirm the existence of the price elasticity and substitute cross-price elasticity of demand for imported timber. Results
also imply that the Turkish firms importing timber tend to consider domestic sawlog prices as much as, even more than, the price of foreign timber.
The hypothesized effects of production changes in wood products and furniture industries on imported timber demand do not appear to be
substantiated by this study, which can partly be attributed to the partial method of measuring CUR’s and IPI’s. Meanwhile, possible effects of
income, population and exchange rate index of the Turkish currency on the imported timber demand of the country are not evidenced by the empirical
findings of this research. Finally, our model forecasts, ceteris paribus, that by 2016 the level of Turkish demand for imported timber demand can
reasonably be expected to exceed 2 million m3/year. This corresponds to the level of timber import observed in the years preceding the global economic
crisis in 2009.
Key words: Industrial roundwood, roundwood demand, forest sector, econometric model, regression analysis, timber market, demand forecast,