EU Roundwood production up by 21 % in 20 years

Following eight years of steady increase, total roundwood production in the EU decreased by 2% to 488 million m3 in 2020, when compared with 2019. Still, roundwood production was 21% higher than in 2000.

In 2020, the industry’s Big Five producers were Germany (84 million m3), Sweden (74 million m3) Finland (60 million m3), France (48 million m3) and Poland (41 million m3), altogether making up 63 % of the EU’s roundwood production that year. The total share of the five countries has slightly decreased in the past two decades (from a 67 % peak around 2010) due to the steady production decrease in France and the increased production in countries with traditionally small total output.

Production of roundwood has increased the most in the Netherlands (+185 %) since 2000, followed by Slovenia (+73 %), Germany (+57  %), Poland (+56 %), Croatia (+43 %) and Romania (+37 %). Some of those countries started from a small baseline. The largest relative decrease in the amount of harvested wood were recorded in Cyprus (-58 %), France (-28 %) and Hungary (-16 %).

Wood has been increasingly used as a source of renewable energy. Almost a quarter (23%) of the EU roundwood production in 2020 was used as fuelwood, while the remainder was industrial roundwood used for sawnwood and veneers, or pulp and paper production. This represents an increase of 6 percentage points in the relative share of fuelwood production compared with 2000.

In some Member States, specifically the Netherlands (78 %) and Cyprus (74 %), fuelwood represented the majority of roundwood production in 2020. On the other hand, Slovakia and Sweden reported that over 90% of their total roundwood production was industrial roundwood.

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