Largest timber exporting countries in the EU


The European Union (EU) timber industry is a significant sector that contributes to economic growth, employment, and environmental sustainability. The EU accounts for approximately 5 % of the world’s forests. Besides the forests’ ecological value, their role as an essential element in the European landscape, and their importance for some non-economic uses, such as recreation, forests are also an economic resource.

            The timber industry is an important part of the global wood market. Timber is any wood that is sewn into planks and beams. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the sawn wood market is currently valued at $751.77 million and is expected to grow to $780 million in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 0.74%.

            In another report by Fact.MR, it was reported that Europe is the leading manufacturer of sawn timber. This region is also following green building codes, so they consume wood as a sustainable option in buildings, thereby decreasing their carbon footprint.

            Our investigation relied on FAO Forestry Production and Trade Database data to identify the leading timber-exporting nations. A thorough examination was conducted to comprehend how timber is categorised within this database. The FAO distinguishes timber products into five primary groups: roundwood, sawnwood and sleepers, wood-based panels, wood pulp, paper, and paperboard. It’s noteworthy that roundwood comprises both industrial and non-industrial variants.  Additionally, non-industrial roundwood, due to its low unit value, is omitted from the FAO’s trade data.

            Consequently, excluding non-industrial roundwood, our focus encompassed industrial roundwood, sawnwood and sleepers, wood-based panels, wood pulp, paper, and paperboard as the definition of ‘timber.’ The metric employed for our analysis was the export volume as of 2021. Recognising that it signifies the mentioned categories when ‘timber’ is referenced in this article is essential. Aggregating the dollar value of exports across all timber categories yielded the total export volume, forming the basis for our rankings. Ultimately, the top timber-exporting countries in the EU were ranked in ascending order based on the dollar value of their exports.

9. Romania

Export Volume: $2.04 Billion 

Romania, a major timber exporter, boasts plentiful old-growth forests. Unfortunately, these forests face the dual challenge of legal and illegal logging. Illicit logging is a significant concern, affecting much of the country’s forestry. The exported timber primarily finds its way to Italy, the US, and China.

8. Latvia

Export Volume: $2.4 Billion

With abundant forest cover, Latvia is a key player in the timber market. The country thrives on timber processing, with significant exports to the UK, Germany, and Sweden.

7. Portugal

Export Volumes: $2.9 Billion

Portugal stands out as a noteworthy timber exporter with a thriving and sustainable wood sector, thanks to its abundant forests. Eucalyptus is the predominant plantation, contributing to the country’s robust timber.

6. The Czech Republic

Export Volume: $3 Billion

One of the most forested countries in Europe, the Czech Republic, is one of the most important timber producers in the world. It exchanges timber with countries like China, Austria, Romania, and Slovakia.

5. France

Export Volume: $6.9 Billion

Another top timber exporter is France. It exports sawn timber, veneer, plywood, joinery, and paper products to countries such as Spain, Italy, and the United States.

4. Austria

Export Volume: $7.7 Billion

The timber market in Austria is flourishing. The country has one of the highest shares of forests in Europe. Austria’s export destinations are Italy, Germany, The Czech Republic, and the UK.

3. Finland

Export Volume: $14.3 Billion

One of the largest exporters of timber in the world (number 6 in the world and number 3 in the EU) is Finland. It exports timber to Germany, the United States, Sweden, and China.

2. Sweden

Export Volume: $16.8 Billion  

Almost 70% of Sweden is covered with forests, contributing to its timber export market. Its export markets include the United States, China, and the Middle East.

1. Germany

Export Volume: $24.2 Billion

Germany serves to be the second biggest timber exporter in the world after Canada and the EU’s largest exporter. China, Austria, USA, and Poland are among the significant destinations for Germany’s timber. Germany is one of Europe’s densely wooded regions.