The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South China is among the economically backward areas in the country. However, it leads China in the production of gum rosin and gum turpentine.
According to statistics, last year Guangxi produced 158,600 tons of gum rosin and 15,370 tons of gum turpentine, accounting for 45% and 32.9%, respectively of the national total.
The bulk of the gum rosin and gum turpentine produced in Guangxi is consumed domestically. In 1991, the region exported only 48,295 tons of gum rosin and 2,891 tons of gum turpentine. The buyers came from 30 countries, including the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy and France.
China now has about 19 million hectares of pine trees. Table I provides details of the rosin industry in China. The pine trees grow mainly in Heilongjiang and Yunnan provinces and Guangxi. Though Heilongjiang, which borders on Russian Siberia, boasts rich pine resources, lumbering is the main business there. Most forests in Yunnan, Guangxi’s western neighbor, defy access. This leaves Guangxi the top rosin producer in China.