One third of the raw wood harvested is used for heating, study finds

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Roughly one third of the raw wood harvested is used as fuel for heating, which places Romania among the countries with a high consumption of firewood for heating, being surpassed only by France among the countries with a higher production than Romania, it is stated in a study conducted by PwC Romania, at the request of the Wood Industry Association – Prolemn.

The price of firewood could be capped, and export will be prohibited for certain varieties.

According to European statistics, economic operators in Romania harvest a commercial volume of 33% of the total annual growth of the forest, while the European average is around 63%. However, there are other countries below the average, such as Greece (37%), Italy (41%), Spain (49%), Bulgaria (50%), Lithuania (54%). At the opposite pole are the Czech Republic with 111%, the Netherlands (96%), Germany (94%) or Slovakia (75%).

Statistics of forestry activities show a volume of approx. 20 million cubic meters (gross volume) of wood harvested in 2021, 342,000 cubic meters more than the previous year, Romania being the seventh most important producing country at EU-27 level.

However, total timber production is only 2.3 cubic meters of commercial raw roundwood per hectare recorded in 2019, among the lowest in Europe, countries with similar conditions to Romania having a much higher harvest index, PwC says.

More than 1.5% of GDP is directly generated by the forestry sector and wood-based industries, the cumulative contribution reaching approximately 4.5% of GDP considering the indirect and induced effects on the economy.

Those more than 14,900 active companies in the forestry sector and wood-based industries generated a turnover of more than 9.7 billion euros in 2021 (more than 20 pp compared to the previous year, mainly on the back of price increases) and exports of more than 7% of Romania’s total exports, with a total net foreign exchange contribution of around 2.2 billion euros in the case of the wood processing and furniture sectors respectively, with relatively equal weights.

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