Weekly Maaleht reports that the price of firewood has doubled in the last year as a stacked cubic meter of alder goes for more than €85 today, while it used to cost just €40 last fall.
The change is caused by more than tractor and chainsaw fuel price hikes as shocking electricity bills sent people using their wood stoves again this winter, the paper explains.
"Interest in firewood has exploded this year," Ulvar Kaubi, head of the timber distribution department of state forest manager RMK, said. "People are trying to dial back electricity use for heating and rely on firewood instead."
The east-west timber trade is slowing and companies are looking for alternative supply. "Heating and electricity providers have started buying up firewood to make sure their plants do not run out of fuel. This has caused stress on the market and hiked prices," Kaubi said.
RMK sells three-meter logs as firewood, with a full load going for €40 per cubic meter. Demand is great and the looming logging break means that no more orders can be placed for coniferous wood, while soft timber queues stretch into months.
Price of pellets also heading up
The pellet heating market is also seeing change. Timber buying prices have caused the price of heating pellets to grow by 30 percent.
Forestry expert Heiki Hepner has been putting together regular price overviews for Maaleht's Metsaleht, with his data suggesting the price of firewood has grown 93 percent year-over-year.
A stacked cubic meter of mixed firewood cost €45.38 (VAT excluded) in March.
Editor: Marcus Turovski