Total ban on Russian log exports by 2022

The Russian government has decided to control the export of round wood and low-value forest products and to clamp down on the illegal trade of logs. It also proposes a complete ban on shipments of unprocessed or roughly processed conifer and valuable hardwood by January 2022.

Lower-value hardwood logs, such as birch pulp logs exported to Finland, may be excluded from the future export ban.

To encourage domestic processing of Russian timber, it plans to implement a government programme of subsidised loans for investing in wood processing facilities, primarily in Siberia and Russia’s Far East, targeting the growing wood markets in Asia.

If the log ban is enacted, it will be the end of Russia’s long-lasting role as one of the world’s largest exporter of softwood logs. Russian hardwood log exports have fluctuated between 7-8 million cubic metres in the past 5 years, but are likely to fall in the next 2 years if higher-value logs such as oak and ash are banned for exports.

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