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This year's felling in Swedish forests is expected to be lower in comparison to record levels of felling in 2021 and 2022, according to a new forecast from the Swedish Forest Agency.
According to the Swedish Forest Agency's forecast, the gross felling for 2023 is estimated to approximately 93 million cubic meters standing volume. This is a decrease of 3 million cubic meters standing volume compared to 2021, and a decrease of 2.8 million cubic meters compared to 2022. The expected decrease in felling is explained by a decreased production in the wood-consuming forest industry. Due to the uncertain economic situation, this year's forecast is less foreseeable than normal.
The harvest of sawlogs is estimated to decrease as an effect of the prognosis that production of sawn wood products this year is expected to be 2 percent lower than 2022. The forest industry's production of pulp is also estimated to decrease, which means that the harvest of pulpwood is expected to decrease by 4 percent.
The decreased harvest of sawn timber and pulpwood is offset, to some extent, by an increased harvest of firewood. Firewood harvest is estimated to increase by 3 percent.
Felling is also affected, to a certain extent, by the import and export of roundwood. Imports are expected to increase by 7 percent, while exports are estimated to be unchanged.
The level of fellings in Sweden during 2021 and 2022 mark the highest levels seen, with the exception of 2005 and 2007 following the storms Gudrun and Per.
The Swedish Forest Agency recently reported that the area of notifications and permits for regeneration felling so far this year has increased by 19 percent compared to the same period last year. In our forecast of this year's gross felling, we estimate that gross felling will not develop in the same way as the reported area. This is possible because many companies report objects that they plan to harvest in the coming years.
Gross felling 2022 (preliminary figures) by region:
In 2022, 8.7 million cubic meters were felled in Västra Götaland county, which was 9 percent of the total felling in the country. Felling was also high in Värmland county, where 8.3 million cubic meters were felled.
Gross felling: Total harvested trunk volume, including trunks not removed from the forest. Measured in cubic meters standing volume (m3sk) which means the trunk volume above the stump including top and bark but excluding branches.
The statistics, with the exception of forecasted felling, are part of the Official Statistics of Sweden.
The Swedish Forest Agency annually produces a forecast for this year's felling. The forecast which is reported to UNECE/FAO is based on forecasts and assessments of production in sawmills, pulp production, consumption of roundwood for energy purposes, foreign trade of roundwood and stock levels of roundwood.
The county-specific felling statistics are now produced with a data source which means that, for the first time, it can be reported per calendar year. Previously, the county-specific statistics could only be presented as three-year average.