Thailand's forested area declined from 53% of the nation's land area in 1961 to only 28% by 2000, mainly as a result of the continued use of slash-and-burn practices by farmers. Of Thailand's 14.8 million ha (36.3 million acres) of forest, about 56% lies in the north, where teak and pine predominate. Rubber trees, planted mostly in the south, make up 10% of the forest area. The remainder consists of yang (keruing) plantations and rosewood, other species used as fuel, and smaller mangrove forests and conifers. Teak, once a major export, has declined in importance, largely because of government restrictions on cutting and past depletion of the forests through excessive harvesting and inadequate replanting. Yang, pradu, takien, krabak, and krabok are other traditional hardwoods that have suffered severe production declines. Thailand imposed a ban on logging government-owned timber in 1989. Lac, a resinous insect substance found on trees, has always had value for the Thai, but its derivatives—seedlac, sticklac, and shellac—have also found a ready international market. Other important forestry products include charcoal, gums and resins, and kapok fiber and seed.
In 2001 production of roundwood was estimated at 41.3 million cu m (1.46 billion cu ft). Production of tropical hardwood products in 2000 included (in cubic meters): sawn wood, 294,000; wood pulp, 764,000; veneer, 89,000; and plywood, 91,000. Thailand is a negligible exporter of tropical logs and lumber. However, Thailand now exports primarily value-added wood products (mostly furniture, picture frames, utensils, and other items). Exports of wood products in 2000 totaled $805.9 million. Imports of logs, timber, and wood products in 2000 were valued at $1,323 million.