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June 12, 2019

Current dynamics and challenges of the Russian wood industry

Current dynamics and challenges of the Russian wood industry

The Russian wood product industry is one of the world’s most dynamic ones thanks to its increasing domestic processing of roundwood and production of higher value-added products oriented towards exports. The Russian wood product industry produces sawnwood and different wood-based panels. In 2018, these valued almost USD 10 billion, over 1/3 of the total Russian forest industry output. European part of Russia is the leader in wood-based panels production, while Siberia is the largest producer of sawnwood.

The key factor in Russia’s wood industry competitiveness is the low cost of raw material. Russia has one of the lowest log costs among the main competing suppliers. For the last couple of years, the soft log cost has been between USD 40-50 per m3. For example, this is about 25% of the price level in China. Part of the favourable development when compared to the main competing countries, is caused by the low value of the Rubble. In local currency, however, the prices have increased considerably, and are continuing to climb. Labour cost is also low, and the wood product sector is still heavily labour intensive in Russia, still among the most intensive among the main competing countries.

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