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Northern Europe wood exports flying high

A new report pertaining to wood markets states many sawmills in northern Europe have expanded their lumber sales outside the Europe market the past few years.

The resultant increase in non-European exports from Nordic countries went from 27% of total exports in 2007 to 43% in 2012. The biggest changes have come within shipments to Northern Africa, the Middle East, Japan, China and the US.

Finnish sawmills currently export over half of their shipments to non-European markets, with Japan and Egypt being the two largest buyers last year, ahead of traditional markets like the UK, France and Germany.

Countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa have become an important region for Swedish sawmills over the past 10 years too, with the export value increasing from $160 million (€121 million) in 2002 to $730 million in 2012. Those regions accounted for 28% of the total export volume for Sweden last year.

The Wood Resources International report also reveals, although still relatively small in size, shipments from Sweden during the first four months of 2013 to China were up 130%.