Five European countries account for approximately 75 percent of the EU’s total production of sawn wood. Swedish exports alone correspond to 15 percent of the other EU countries’ combined production of sawn timber. Globally, Sweden represents ten percent of the global export value of sawn wood, corresponding to a value of 4.8 billion USD.
In addition, roughly 3.2 million tonnes of pulp are produced in Sweden each year. Of that quantity, about 2.8 million tonnes of pulp are exported to the EU. The largest export markets are Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
At the same time, Germany is one of the five European countries that account for most of the European Union’s production of sawn wood. Germany, Sweden, Finland, Austria, and France ensure that Europe is mostly self-reliant on sawn timber, thereby contributing to Europe’s strategic independence.
There are countless products that are produced from raw materials that originate in the forest. The most obvious ones are of course wood as a building material in the form of boards and planks, as well as packaging materials such as cardboard and paper. In addition, wood raw material is used to produce clothing, glue, and biofuel – as well as heat and electricity in district heating systems.
Total gross value added (GVA) generated by the forestry and logging industry in the EU was €23.2 billion in 2020. In absolute terms, these industries generated the greatest GVA in Finland (€4.0 billion), Sweden (€3.2 billion) and France (€2.8 billion) in 2020. In addition to its economic significance, the forestry industry is central for the development of a circular bioeconomy.