Wood harvests expanding in Eastern Russia
Friday 19 Oct 2018
The provinces of Siberia and Russia Far East are the only regions in Russia where timber harvests have gone up during the past five years, according to the government agency Rosstat. This has been driven by substantial investments in forest industry production in the region, predominantly in the sawmilling sector. From 2013 to 2017, harvest volumes in Eastern Russia were up 30%, while they remained practically unchanged in North Western Russia and fell in the Central provinces of the country.
The expansion of the forest industry in Eastern Russia has been driven by demand for lumber in China. Although the Chinese forest industry has a history of importing logs for its raw-material needs due to a lack of domestic sources, the trend over the last ten years has been towards the importation of softwood lumber rather than logs.
Chinese importers have gradually shifted their historical preference for logs away from the Russian Federation towards New Zealand and instead are importing softwood lumber from their forest-rich neighbour in the north, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. The percentage of lumber as a share of total log and lumber volume (in roundwood equivalents) has gone up from 58% in 2014 to almost 80 % in 2018.
In the coming years it is expected that most of the investments in Russia’s forest industry will continue to occur in Siberia and the Far East to meet continued rising demand for lumber, plywood and pulp in China.
Source: Wood Resources International LLC, www.WoodPrices.com
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