Europe regains its global position

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 / Published in Evaluation of the past Year

Europe is recovering after the recession and represents the engine for some areas of the entire world in the forest-based sector; here is the world’s largest pellet market, and Europeans are leading the way in sustainable management and forest certification. They are also giving legal assistance in the prevention of illegal logging. European companies have an active approach to increasing exports of sawn timber to China,
which has become the largest consumer of wood (according to FAO UNECE). China has imported 18%, more sawn timber and is the leading producer and consumer of paper and board.

European companies have exported 39% of their beech timber to China , although the US and Canada are leading in timber production, and Russia has the largest forest inventories in the world. Demand for conifers is stable, although it has not reached the indicators from 2008.

India transformed into a big importer of wood in 2014, and consumption will exceed USD 2 billion. New Zealand has become the world’s largest exporter of logs of conifers. The allowable cut in Europe and the southern hemisphere will grow by 1.5% per year. It is expected that house building in Australia will achieved record indicators in 2015.

Pellet market grew by + 8% in 2014

Due to the recovery of the global economy, demand for energy is growing, as has the demand for wood pellets as a new and ecological energy source. Many companies, especially on the east coast of the United States have invested considerable amounts in the construction of plants for the production of pellets. More and more popular are cogeneration facilities for electricity production. In 2013, pellet production reached 23.6 mn tons, which was a growth of 13%. For 2014, official statistics are not yet available, but the quarterly figures show that the production of pellets last year increased by a further 8%.

hans_offnerStatement: Hans Offner, President, ProHolz Austria

Forest management in Europe is responsible, and timber stocks are constantly increasing, because out of 800 mn m3, 480 mn m3 is cut. Every day our knowledge and understanding of how to increase the use of wood is expanding. The University of Vancouver discovered by research that skyscrapers of heights of up to 33 floors can be made of wood. We have to use as much wood in construction. In Austria, there has been a law since 1852 that regulates the use of wood in construction and it is necessary to continue with the responsible management of European forest resources.