Europe’s timber restrictions on Russia and Belarus have had a great impact on the timber market under the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Europe’s timber restrictions on Russia and Belarus have had a great impact on the timber market under the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Release date: May 12, 2022

Export restrictions on the Russian timber industry have had a significant impact on the global timber market.

In 2021, the export volume of Russian wood products in this industry was US $12.2 billion. Softwood wood (US $5.8 billion) and paper (US $2 billion) account for the largest share. In the past five years, Russia has supplied 15-20 million cubic meters of cork to China every year. It is estimated that 40% of exports go to China and most of the rest go to Europe.

In 2021, nearly 4.5 million cubic meters of cork were shipped to Europe, an increase of 20% over 2020 (3.75 million cubic meters). The main customers of Russian cork are Estonia (966000 m3 in 2021), followed by Germany (753000 m3) and Finland (676000 m3).

Cork exported from Ukraine is also affected. Hungary is a large purchaser of cork: in 2021, the cork purchased from Ukraine alone was 308814 cubic meters; however, Romania was the most affected. In 2020, Romania imported 206258m of Ukrainian cork, but by 2021, it directly decreased to 104284m, nearly half of the import compared with previous years.

In 2021, Russia exported 2.4 million tons of particles. The main exporter is Denmark: accounting for 81% of Russia’s exports (1.96 million tons in 2021). Belgium ranks second: 381000 tons, and third: Britain: 145000 tons.

The restrictions on Belarus will have a greater impact on the situation of the Polish timber market. Belarus exported 2.57 million cubic meters of cork to the EU. The main sales markets are Latvia (747000 m3), Lithuania (654000 m3) and Germany (355000 m3). Poland has imported more than 216000 cubic meters of cork wood, and Belarus has been one of the most important suppliers in the Polish market for many years.

It is expected that there will be a lot of chaos in the European timber market in the near future. Many companies are already looking for new sources of supply. Considering the high demand for wood products during the epidemic and the rise in the prices of products and raw materials, wood prices are expected to rise further.

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