Geography of the timber industry complex of Russia

Comments by the President of the Russian Forest Association Olga Kalyuzhnaya for the ForestComplex magazine, where the voluminous material about the geography of the timber industry complex of our country.

Regional rankings

Over the past 2 years, the rating of the largest forest regions and companies has not changed. The most significant regions in this regard are the North-West (Vologda, Arkhangelsk, Leningrad regions, Karelia, Komi) and Siberia (Irkutsk region, Krasnoyarsk Territory). This is due to the fact that these subjects are forest-sufficient and the largest in terms of harvesting.

Since the beginning of the introduction of international sanctions, the northwestern regions have been in a more vulnerable position, since historically they have been oriented towards the European market, while Siberia has traditionally been oriented towards China. But since the beginning of this year, the situation has begun to level off: for example, logistics transport routes from the Northwest to China have become more accessible.

Largest timber industry companies — 2023

The situation with the leading enterprises of the timber industry has not changed compared to last year either. The largest enterprises remain: Ilim Group, Segezha Group, Mondi Russia, Kronospan, APPM, Sveza Group, Svetogorsk Pulp and Paper Mill, Titan Group, SFT Group, Egger Russia, ULC Group, Hayat Kimya Russia, Vologda Lesopromyshlenniki Group .

The 100 largest companies in the timber industry account for approximately 60-65% of the industry's total revenue. The remaining 35-40% is the share of medium and small enterprises, while their vast majority in the industry.

Ups and downs

Timber harvesting in Russia in 2022 decreased by 13% compared to 2021. In 2023, there is also a decrease in logging, but the rate of decline is lower than last year. According to our estimates, this year's volumes may decrease by 5-7%. Decrease in demand from timber mills has led to a reduction in timber harvesting. Interruptions in the supply of forestry, logging equipment and spare parts have become a big problem for loggers. But now the market has new solutions, new equipment, including Russian, Belarusian and Chinese production.

The pulp and paper industry continues to adapt to work in the new conditions. Less export dependence compared to mechanically processed wood products contributes to a relatively successful adjustment to changed circumstances. Pulp and paper is based on domestic demand.

There is not a single timber industry that has not directly or indirectly suffered from restrictions and sanctions. For example, the pellet industry was almost completely focused on the European market. Now, in fact, only the South Korean market remains, but it is capacitively limited and inaccessible to most manufacturers in the North-West. Industries that are oriented to the domestic market and domestic demand, which have long-standing and established sales to Asia, Chinese and other markets, are adapting faster.