Russian Far East Forestry

A WFI Market Brief Series Excerpt
Written by Runar Gareyev for World Forest Institute

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENT TABLES
Forest Resources Coniferous Wood Reserve, Russia vs. World
RFE Timber Species Coniferous Wood Reserve by Region
Forest Harvesting RFE Distribution of Pine and Fir
RFE Wood Industry RFE Volume per hectare
RFE Wood Exports Annual Allowable Cut
RFE Forest Sector Outlook Roundwood, Panel & Pulp Production
  Primorski Krai Timber Exports
  Primorski Krai Unprocessed Timber Exports


RUSSIA MARKET BRIEF EXCERPT

Russian forests comprise over one fifth of the world’s timber resources, yet wood production has plummeted since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Poor infrastructure and political uncertainty have made access to these resources difficult; but there are small signs that the Russian forestry sector is starting to stabilize after years of decline.

Since 1993, Russian exports of unprocessed timber have grown by 4 million cum to nearly 18 million cum in 1997--an increase of 28%. The Russian federal government is moving to privatize forestland ownership, and new tax legislation is slated to provide tax breaks for forestry investments. The pulp and paper industry has already been largely privatized, with several European firms buying up northwestern Russian pulp mills.

Despite these developments, the need for significant structural changes within Russia’s forest industry remain; but with vast quantities of mature wood—especially the Russian Far East (RFE), where harvests are 50-60% below the annual allowable cut—Russia will continue to draw interest.

The Russian Far East region consists of seven administrative units known as "oblast" or "krai":

Primorsky Krai
Khabarovsky Krai
Amurskaya Oblast
Magadanskaya Oblast
Kamchatskaya Oblast
Sakhalinskaya Oblast
Sakha

Coniferous Wood Reserve Russian Far East (million cum)

Country

Total Forest Area

(million hectares)

Share of global forested area

%

Total wood

volume

(million m3)

Share of global wood volume %

Wood production 1989-1991 (million m3)

Share of global production %

Russia

764

22

82,110

21

375

11

Brazil

566

16

65,088

17

262

8

Canada

247

7

28,671

7

179

5

U.S.

210

6

24,730

6

508

15

China

134

4

9,789

3

281

8

Indonesia

116

3

19,609

5

167

5

Nordic

Countries

53

2

4,942

1

109

3

All other

1,239

36

125,979

33

1,542

47

World

3,442

100

383,726

100

3,462

100

Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); World Resources Institute


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