Already high pulpwood and firewood prices increased even further in the third quarter of 2022, according to quarterly statistics published by the Estonian Private Forest Center (EMK).
Compared with the previous quarter, softwood log prices were on a downward trend in the third quarter, while hardwood log prices remained on the rise.
"The ongoing war in Europe and energy crisis caused by Russia have led to abnormal developments on the timber market," EMK said. "Long-established proportions between the prices of wood varieties have changed significantly."
Pine log prices fell nearly 5 percent, spruce logs nearly 9 percent and small spruce logs 11.5 percent in the third quarter.
"The rather intensive import of logs from Russia through the beginning of the third quarter and continued ravaging by the European spruce bark beetle certainly contributed to the price drop, but the cooling of the economy is also starting to have an increasing effect," the center noted.
The prices of all large hardwood log varieties went up on quarter — birch blocks by 12.6 percent, aspen logs by 17.2 percent and birch logs by 17.6 percent. The biggest increase was seen in the price of alder logs, the cheapest variety, which went up 19.1 percent compared with the previous quarter.
On year, meanwhile, the respective prices of birch blocks had increased by 47 percent, birch logs 67.3 percent, aspen logs 73.6 percent and alder logs 73.7 percent already.
"Wild price growth has continued on the pulpwood market as well," EMK said. "The prices of all varieties are at all-time highs. Thus pinewood has gotten 138.2 percent, sprucewood 145.7 percent, birchwood 171.6 percent and aspenwood even 182.9 percent more expensive. Behind such a wild growth in price, in addition to the disappearance of Russian wood, is also the energy crisis that has conquered Europe, the greater demand for energy wood and the resulting exceptionally high price increase of energy wood."
It is the price of firewood specifically that has driven the price increase on the timber market, and it has remained on the rise each month since last August.
The price of firewood has more than tripled on year, up by 42.7 percent compared to the previous quarter and 209.8 percent in a year's time.
"In conclusion, it can be said that should energy wood prices start to fall at one point, it will lead to a decrease in the price of pulpwood and reduce pressure on log prices as well, but as of right now, there are are no signs of this [happening]," the center said.
Editor: Aili Vahtla