Report provides data on Russian wood pellet production, trade

By Erin Voegele | August 15, 2018

A report recently filed with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network provides an update of wood pellet production in Russia, predicting continued growth in the country’s pellet industry.

The report states that while Russia’s wood pellet production industry is relatively young, the country currently accounts for approximately 6 percent of world wood pellet exports and currently ranks eighth in the world for total wood pellet production, with 3 percent of total world wood pellet production.

Russia produced approximately 1.75 million metric tons of wood pellets last year, up 32 percent when compared to 2016 production. The increase is attributed to continued strong demand from the European Union and new markets in Asia, including Japan and China.

The country exported approximately 1.44 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2017, up 34 percent when compared to 2016. This year, wood pellet exports are expected to reach 1.5 million metric tons. Leading exports destinations for Russian wood pellets include Denmark, South Korea, Belgium and Sweden.

By 2020, the report predicts Russian wood pellet production will reach 5 million metric tons per year, increasing to 8 million metric tons by 2025.

The report also cautions that production statistics for wood pellets in Russia may be incomplete, and primarily reflect production at large-capacity factories. Mid-sized and smaller facilities that operate as part of larger wood processing plants do not report production data.

The report cites data indicating that 10 large wood pellet producers in Russia currently manufacture approximately 60 percent of the country’s wood pellets. Last year, facilities in the North Western Federal District and Siberian Federal District accounted for nearly 70 percent of production.

Russia currently consumes approximately 320,000 metric tons of wood pellets. In the mid-term, this domestic demand is expected to remain flat.