Wood prices in Estonia reach record highs

Timber.
Timber. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

According to the figures published in the Estonian Private Forest Center's (EMK) wood price overview, with the exception of conifer pulpwood, the prices of all categories of wood reached new record highs in the first quarter of 2022.

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has pushed wood prices to previously unseen heights. Especially worth highlighting are the appreciation of birch and aspen pulpwood as well as the extraordinary price increase of firewood, the EMK said.

"Even the price of conifer logs has in absolute terms reached heights we couldn't have even begun to imagine three months ago," the center said. "Deciduous log prices are very, very high."

Over the past three quarters of a year, price growth on the pulpwood market has been rapidly accelerating. In three months, conifer pulpwood has gotten 53 percent more expensive. In the same timespan, birch wood prices increased by nearly 33 and aspen wood prices by more than 44 percent.

As with other categories, firewood has gotten more expensive as well, however price increases have been even steeper. This is due to the sharp increase in energy prices which began last year, to which firewood prices now responded in the beginning of this year.

As stockpiles were previously small due to relatively low firewood prices, demand increased, to which pressure caused by the war in Ukraine added. As a result, by the end of March, the cost of three-meter mixed firewood had increased to €45.38 per cubic meter.

"This is an unbelievably high price," the EMK noted. "This is an increase of 52.4 percent in three months and 92.7 percent on year."

In the first quarter of 2022, a total of 440 forest land transactions were concluded in Estonia, involving a change in ownership of a total of 3,654 hectares of forested land. Both the number of transactions and the total amount of hectares sold has decreased significantly. The volume of forested land to be sold by private persons to legal persons has decreased significantly as well. The average cost per hectare, meanwhile, has increased.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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