The total amount of roundwood removed from Finnish forests for forest industry or energy production was 70 million cubic metres in 2016. The figure was a new record and more than two million cubic metres higher than during the previous year.
According to statistics by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), a total of 62.1 million cubic metres of roundwood were harvested for export or for the production of forest industry products. Of this volume, sawlogs accounted for 26.3 million cubic metres and pulpwood for 35.8 million cubic metres. The total volume increased by 3.3 million cubic metres or six per cent on the previous year. The industrial roundwood removals exceeded the annual average of the previous ten-year period by 9 million cubic metres or 17%.
A total of 8.2 million cubic metres of stemwood were harvested to be used as wood chips in heat and power plants or as fuelwood in residential housing. The volume decreased by 11% on the previous year, but was eight per cent higher than the average of the previous ten-year period. In addition to stemwood, logging residues and stumps were harvested from forests for energy production, totalling slightly less than three million cubic metres.
– Volumes of wood to be used as wood chips are now recorded in the statistics on the basis of information reported by harvesting organisations, while in previous years, the statistics were based on consumption volumes. This means that the information relate to the area where the forests are located and the right time, similarly to industrial roundwood, says Senior Statistician Jukka Torvelainen of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Total roundwood removals 70 million cubic metres, more than 85% of the maximum sustainable felling potential
– The forest land used for wood production has close to 2,200 million cubic metres of roundwood. Luke estimates based on the results of the National Forest Inventory 11 that 81 million cubic metres of stemwood can be harvested in a sustainable way annually in this decade. Of this volume, 70 million cubic metres or approximately 87% were harvested in 2016. However, there was considerable regional variation in the utilisation rate of felling potential. Roundwood removals exceeded the estimated annual felling potential in many regions in Southeast Finland and in Häme. The utilisation rate for spruce was higher than that for other tree species, says Torvelainen.
Roundwood drain increased to 86 million cubic metres
The total annual drain is the combination of roundwood removals, logging residue left in the forest and naturally dead trees left in the forest. In 2016, the latter two totalled just over 15 million cubic metres, causing the annual drain to reach almost 86 million cubic metres. The volume was four per cent higher than during the previous year.
The annual increment of growing stock totals approximately 110 million cubic metres. It thus exceeded removals and natural drain by almost 25 million cubic metres even last year.