More than half of Romania’s wood exports go outside the European Union (EU), official statistics show. Romanian timber and wood products reach as far as Japan, the US, Australia and Chile. As Romania’s Government considers banning wood exports outside the EU, Romania-Insider.com has analyzed the wood export data to find which are the country’s biggest export markets.
What kind of wood does Romania export?
Romania’s wood exports amounted to EUR 1.63 billion in 2018, representing about 2.4% of the country’s total exports (EUR 67 bln), a level close to that recorded in 2017 (EUR 1.65 bln), according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INS).
Unprocessed log exports amounted to EUR 15.7 million (less than 1% of total wood exports), down from EUR 22.3 million in 2017. In volume terms, Romania exported about 91,500 cubic meters of raw logs last year. For comparison, unprocessed wood imports amounted to 1.26 million cubic meters.
Timber exports amounted to EUR 467 million last year, having the highest share in Romania’s total exports of wood products – about 28%. The quantity of timber exported in 2018 was 1.77 million cubic meters, down from 1.87 million cubic meters in 2017.
Wood panel exports, which include OSB, waferboards and other types of laminated wood, totaled EUR 420 million, or 25% of the total. The volume was close to 1.77 million cubic meters, down from 1,86 million cubic meters in 2017.
Other exports include wood fiber panels (EUR 333 million), thin wooden plates (EUR 106 million), plywood (EUR 95 million), wood beams (EUR 57 mln), wood crates (EUR 38 mln), wood doors (EUR 30 mln), and unspecified wood products (EUR 109 mln).
Which are Romania’s biggest export markets for wood products?
Romania’s wood exports to the European Union totaled EUR 803 million in 2018, or 49% of the total exports, while shipments outside the EU totaled EUR 826 million, or 51% of the total.
Italy is the biggest market for Romanian wood products, accounting for EUR 185 million, or 11% of the total exports. Other big export markets in the EU are Germany and Hungary.
Meanwhile, China, Japan and the US are the biggest non-EU export markets. Romania exported in 2018 wood products worth EUR 146 million to China, EUR 133 million to Japan and EUR 62 million to the US. Other big export markets outside the EU are Egypt, Turkey, and Middle East countries (Lebanon, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel).
It’s not yet clear what the environment minister referred to exactly when speaking about “banning log exports outside EU”, but such a ban would logically cover mainly timber as unprocessed log exports are very low.
Which are the biggest export markets for timber?
Aside for raw logs, timber is the least processed wood product that leaves Romania and requires the highest resource consumption. And most of Romania’s timber exports go outside the EU. In 2018, timber exports outside the EU brought Romania EUR 410 million, representing about 87% of the total timber exports. In volume terms, timber exports outside the EU totaled 1.61 million cubic meters, or 91% of the total.
The bulk of timber exports (some 1.38 million cubic meters) go to ten countries: China, Japan, US, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait, and Jordan.
If the Romanian Government decides to ban wood exports outside the EU, these countries would likely be the most affected.
(Photo source: ID 50502388 © Ian Mcdonald | Dreamstime.com)