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Surge in Latvia's forestry exports in 2014
The exports from Latvia's forestry industry increased significantly in the first few months of 2014, reaching a total of €1.359 billion between January and August. This is according to latest data published by the Forest Department of the country's Ministry of Agriculture, which shows exports are up by 11.3 per cent when compared to the €1.221 billion recorded in the same period in 2013. In the first eight months of 2014, the value of wood and wood products totalled €1.18 billion - up by 12.5 per cent on the previous year's figure. Latvia's most significant export markets were the UK, Sweden and Germany, which received 15.8 per cent, 11.3 per cent and 10.6 per cent respectively. The country's forestry imports surged by 18.3 per cent from the start of 2014 to August, reaching €453 million, with the majority of products brought into the country coming from fellow Baltic states Lithuania (20 per cent) and Estonia (19 per cent), followed by Poland (11.4 per cent). Meanwhile, data published in Lithuania has confirmed that the growth in softwood log prices recorded in July broadly continued in August. Prices for spruce remained flat and small-sized softwood experienced a small decline, but all other varieties experienced a rise when compared to the previous month and the vast majority were above their levels for the same period in 2013. Pine, birch and alder each increased by between €0.30 and €1.75 per cubic metre. The case of small-sized softwood is of interest to the timber industry, as it has endured a peculiar price pattern in recent months. After surging as high as €10 per cubic metre in July, it plummeted by more than €8 per cubic metre in the following month and now stands at €51.77 per cubic metre - roughly the same price level recorded in June.
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