News Forestry, Statistic

Of the wood material used in Finland in 2017, as much as 56 per cent was used for energy generation. The largest factor is black liquor produced in the pulp industry. 43 per cent of all wood material was tied up in forest industry products.

The two main groups’ shares of wood material use – energy and the production of forest industry products – have remained almost unchanged since 2012. A fifth of the wood material used in Finland was tied up in the production of paper and paperboard. The share of wood pulp was 9%, the share of sawn goods 13% and the share of wood-based panels 2% in total.

“The data is based on the forest accounts initiated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). The key idea is to convert the traditional cubic metres and metric tons into a single unit of measurement: dry-matter tons of wood. This makes it possible to produce calculations that cover the entire forest sector”, says Martti Aarne, principal specialist at Luke.

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The mass balance of the forest sector monitors how wood matter is tied up in the forest industry’s roundwood, products, fuel and waste. The total consumption of wood matter, calculated on the basis of the mass balance, amounted to 38.2 million dry-matter tons of wood in 2017. There was growth of 4% from the previous year and 7% from the average of the five preceding years. In 2017, the use of wood measured in dry-matter was at a record level for this millennium.

Photo: Erkki Oksanen

A quarter of the wood material is tied up in black liquor

Of individual items of wood use, the most significant are black liquor and other concentrated liquors, produced within the pulp industry. They represented 26% of all wood material used in Finland in 2017. Since 2000, the share of liquors has been one-quarter of the total consumption.

“Structural changes within the forest industry are reflected in the amounts of wood matter used for forest industry products. Proportionally, the highest growth has in the past few years been in the amount of wood material tied up in paperboard, wood pulp and sawn goods. At the same time, the importance of paper has decreased”, Aarne says.

By using dry-matter conversion factors, it is also possible to compile statistics on the foreign trade in forest-related products. In 2017, 15.5 million dry-matter tons of wood was exported from Finland. Of this, 10.4 million tons (67%) was bound in products of the pulp and paper industries, and 4.4 million tons (29%) in the wood-products industries.

Background to the statistics

Forest accounts, which Luke is now publishing for the first time, is a set of statistics where use and mass balances are used to describe the supply of wood and forest industry products from different sources, their use within industry and energy generation, and the flows of wood material from raw materials into products. The forest accounts are primarily based on official forest statistics produced by Luke.