Wood flows and prices

Wood flows

Actual cut

Roundwood production is one of the key data for monitoring forest management. Quantities and structure are based on official data representing the recorded harvest. The actual cut in Slovenia is probably higher, which is indicated by some independent research. The collection of data on recorded annual cut is laid down in the Rules on forest management and silviculture plans (Official Gazette RS, No. 5/98, 70/06, 12/08, 91/10). The basis for the annual cut registration is the registration field form of trees for felling, in which the selected trees are entered for cutting trees, thickness levels, types and causes of harvesting, and the recording of illegal fellings. It is worth mentioning that in 2007, the method of recording trees felled changed, so the values before 2007 are lower.

Given the fact that we are seeing greater interest and awareness of the general public about the problems of natural disasters, we have upgraded the graph of the recorded annual cut with the proportions of the type of felling (regular logging, sanitary felling, felling without approval ...) and marked (guides) the major natural disasters of the last decade.

Graph: Recorded cuttings of conifers and deciduous trees for the period 1995 - 2015.

Roundwood production

International definitions of roundwood according to the purposes of use:

Sawlogs and veneer logs: Roundwood that will be sawn (or chipped) lengthways for the manufacture of sawnwood or railway sleepers (ties) or used for the production of veneer (mainly by peeling or slicing). It includes roundwood (whether or not it is roughly squared) that will be used for these purposes; shingle bolts and stave bolts; match billets and other special types of roundwood (e.g. burls and roots, etc.) used for veneer production. It is reported in cubic metres solid volume underbark (i.e. excluding bark).

Pulpwood, round and split: Roundwood that will be used for the production of pulp, particleboard or fibreboard. It includes: roundwood (with or without bark) that will be used for these purposes in its round form or as splitwood or wood chips made directly (i.e. in the forest) from roundwood. It is reported in cubic metres solid volume underbark (i.e. excluding bark).

Other industrial roundwood: Industrial roundwood (wood in the rough) other than sawlogs, veneer logs and/or pulpwood. It includes roundwood that will be used for poles, piling, posts, fencing, pitprops, tanning, distillation and match blocks, etc. It is reported in cubic metres solid volume underbark (i.e. excluding bark).

Wood fuel (including wood for charcoal): Roundwood that will be used as fuel for purposes such as cooking, heating or power production. It includes wood harvested from main stems, branches and other parts of trees (where these are harvested for fuel) and wood that will be used for the production of charcoal (e.g. in pit kilns and portable ovens), wood pellets and other agglomerates. The volume of roundwood used in charcoal production is estimated by using a factor of 6.0 to convert from the weight (mt) of charcoal produced to the solid volume (m3) of roundwood used in production. It also includes wood chips to be used for fuel that are made directly (i.e. in the forest) from roundwood. It excludes wood charcoal, pellets and other agglomerates. It is reported in cubic metres solid volume underbark (i.e. excluding bark).

Graph: Production of roundwood in Slovenia for the period 1995-2015.

External trade of roundwood

The movement dynamic in external trade is an important indicator of the processing state and timber use and, consequently, adding added value to the domestic renewable raw material. The most important exporting countries for Slovenia are Italy and Austria. To the former, we export primarily low-quality roundwood and firewood, while we export primarly coniferous roundwood to Austria. External trade data requires careful consideration in interpretation, since some roundwood groups may be subject to re-export. Increased quantities of timber on the market in recent years have had a direct impact on exports. The export of coniferous logs exceeded the limit of 1 million m3 in 2015, and in 2016 it approached the limit of 2 million m3. The total export of roundwood in 2016 is estimated to be 3 million m3.

Graph: Import and export of roundwood (coniferous and deciduous) for the period 1991-2015.

Schematic representation of roundwood flows in Slovenia

Data on production and external trade in roundwood are very important for forestry as well as for timber and other wood-related industries. Material Flow Analysis describes and analyzes the material balance of the system. The main elements of the Material Flow Analysis method are: the boundaries of the system, the internal and external balance of volumes, goods or materials, and flows between different processes. Using the Material Flow Analysis method, we gain insight into material flows, which can help to better understand sustainable production and use.

Figure: Roundwood flows in Slovenia (data for 2014)

Prices of wood fuels and roundwood prices