According to the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), a total of 73 million cubic metres of roundwood were harvested from Finnish forests in 2019, of which 87 per cent were used by the forest industries and 13 per cent were used as energy. Even though roundwood removals decreased by five million cubic metres from the previous year, the volume was still the second highest ever recorded in statistics.
A total of 63.7 million cubic metres of roundwood were harvested for use by the forest industries and for exports.
“Industrial roundwood removals decreased by 5.2 million cubic metres, or eight per cent, from the previous year, still being 13 per cent above the average of the previous ten-year period”, says Tiina Sauvula-Seppälä, senior statistician at Luke.
Industrial roundwood removals decreased in all owner groups
The majority of industrial roundwood removals, 53.1 million cubic metres, came from non-industrial private forests, with removals decreasing by eight per cent from the year before. The total volume of roundwood removed for the industrial sector from forestry companies’ own forests and state-owned forests decreased by five per cent to 10.6 million cubic metres.
“Log removals were 26 and pulpwood removals 38 million cubic metres, with log volumes decreasing more than pulpwood volumes. In terms of tree species, the decrease was bigger with spruce”, Sauvula-Seppälä says.
Felling volumes of more than six million cubic metres were recorded in the regions of Northern Savonia, Southern Savonia, Central Finland and Northern Ostrobothnia. In total, these regions accounted for two fifths of total industrial roundwood removals.
Wood for private use and as energy in addition to industrial roundwood
A small volume of wood was also harvested from forests for the private needs of forest owners. This means that log and pulpwood removals totalled 64.0 million cubic metres in 2019. A total of 9.2 million cubic metres of roundwood were also harvested for use as energy, i.e. as forest chips burned in heat and power plants or as fuelwood burned in small-scale housing.
In total, 73.3 million cubic metres of roundwood were harvested, being nearly five million cubic metres less than in the previous year, but still the second highest volume ever recorded in statistics. This volume exceeded average total removals of the preceding ten-year period by 8.5 million cubic metres, or 13 per cent.
In addition to roundwood, 2.6 million cubic metres of logging residues and stumps were also harvested from forests for burning.
Different felling potential calculations are carried out in conjunction with Luke’s National Forest Inventory. According to the most recent estimate, the sustainable yield of commercial timber and energy wood harvested from our forests totals 80.5 million cubic metres of roundwood per year during the period from 2016 to 2025.
“As the level of roundwood removals varies from one year to the next, roundwood removals and results of felling potential calculations should be analysed over a period of several years. Between 2016 and 2019, an average of 91 per cent of the felling potential was covered”, says senior statistician Jukka Torvelainen.
Roundwood removals and their relationship with the felling potential varies from one region to the next. In Northern Finland in Finland’s three northernmost regions, three quarters of the estimated felling potential were covered between 2016 and 2019. Correspondingly, the volume of roundwood removals was 97 per cent in Southern Finland.
“During this period, average roundwood removals exceeded the sustained yield by at least five per cent in the regions of South Karelia, Kymenlaakso, Southern Savonia and Tavastia Proper. In 2019, the sustained yield was only exceeded as much in South Karelia and the Åland Islands, where significant storm damage increased roundwood removals”, Torvelainen says.
Total drain 88 million cubic metres, annual growth 108 million
Every year, Luke calculates how much roundwood removals, removal waste and natural drain reduce the volume of growing stocks in forests. In 2019, 15 million cubic metres of roundwood remained in forests in the form of logging residues or naturally died stemwood. Combined with roundwood removals, total drain was 88 million cubic metres.
“However, some 108 million cubic metres of new roundwood grow in our forests every year. This means that, regardless of high roundwood removals, the total volume of roundwood increased by 19 million cubic metres in Finland”, Torvelainen says.