Snow and drought led to higher felling costs in 2018
The cost of felling in large scale forestry increased in 2018, according to recent statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency. Large amounts of snow in the north and dry summer weather both contributed to higher costs for regeneration felling and thinning.
The largest increase was in southern Sweden where the cost of regeneration felling increased by nine percent, while it rose by six percent in northern Sweden. The cost of thinning also increased, by six percent in northern Sweden and four percent in southern Sweden.
2018 began with snowy weather in the north and rainy weather in the south. Followed by a particularly hot and dry summer which has affected the costs of forestry activities. The statistics also include costs for felling in forests damaged by fire or storm. The costs for regeneration felling in fire or storm damaged forests are 28 percent higher than ordinary regeneration felling. However, the felling volume from fire or storm damaged wood is small in comparison with the volume of ordinary regeneration felling. Therefore, it carries little impact on the overall average of regeneration felling cost, increasing it by roughly three percent.
Over a longer time period, the cost of regeneration felling has increased by 14 percent from 2008 to 2018. The costs of thinning have also risen, by almost 21 percent since 2008.
The cost in SEK per hectare of silvicultural measures (cleaning, scarification, planting and sowing) increased by four percent in northern Sweden and by three percent in southern Sweden compared with the previous year. Since 2008, the cost of silvicultural measures has increased by 34 percent.
The pre-commercial thinning cost in SEK per hectare increased by five percent in the north and by two percent in southern Sweden. From 2008 to 2018, the cost of pre-commercial thinning has increased by 10 percent.
Statistics on costs in large-scale forestry are volume weighted or area-weighted and relate to current prices. Large scale forestry is defined as ownership of more than 16 000 ha forest land or an annual felling of more than 50 000 m³.
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