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Finland's production and consumption of wood pellets at a record level

Finland's production, exports and imports of wood pellets increased in 2017 compared to 2016. The volume of pellets imported was larger than ever before. Domestic pellet deliveries and domestic pellet consumption reached a new record level according to the latest wood pellet statistics released by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Finland’s production, exports and imports of wood pellets increased in 2017 (image courtesy Luke).

A total of 324 000 tonnes of wood pellets were produced in Finland in 2017, which was one fifth more than during the previous year. The volume, however, was the third largest ever. The highest production volume, 373 000 tonnes, was recorded in 2008, said Esa Ylitalo, Senior Statistician, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Exports and imports increased in 2017

In the long term, the exports of wood pellets have decreased whereas imports have increased. In 2017, wood pellet imports increased by over 70 percent to 87 000 tonnes from the previous year and were larger than ever before. Almost all of the imported pellets originated from Russia.

Most of the exports were sold to Sweden and Denmark. Compared to the previous year, exports increased by 8 percent to 37 000 tonnes.

New record in domestic pellet deliveries

Deliveries based on pellet manufacturers’ domestic production grew almost to 350 000 tonnes, which is the highest volume ever. The volume of wood pellets delivered to heat and power plants grew by approximately one fifth on the previous year and amounted almost to 290 000 tonnes.

Versowood, a Finnish sawmill and wood processing company also produces wood fuels such as pellets from its production residues. The pellets are supplied as bagged for the residential market or in big bags such as above for commercial users.

The volume of wood pellets delivered for small-scale use grew by 6 percent to 62 000 tonnes.

In recent years, new large-scale heating plants have been built and old plants have been converted to use pellets. Due to this, the apparent consumption of wood pellets, that is the sum of production and imports minus exports, increased to over 370 000 tonnes in 2017, which is unprecedented, Ylitalo said.

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