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Irish Woodflow

Ireland's forests provide a range of roundwood assortment sizes used for board manufacture, wood energy, stake production and for the sawmill sector. The Irish wood processing sector is well-developed and, in recent years, has shown that it can adapt to changing market conditions. The COFORD  estimate is that the total roundwood harvest available for processing in 2009 was 2.421 m3, a small reduction (c. 3%) on the 2008 harvest.  The reduction was primarily due to reduced demand for sawn timber and wood-based panels, linked to the reduction in construction activity. The harvest was broken down as 66% sawlog, 30% pulpwood and 4% stakewood.  Coillte supplied approximately 97% of the harvest, with the balance coming from the private sector estate. COFORD also estimates that the private forestry sector has the capacity to increase its output ten-fold over the coming decade .

Table10.1 

Source: COFORD Connects: Woodflow for the Republic of Ireland 2009 (2010)

Total wood fibre available in the Republic of Ireland in 2009 amounted to 3.553 m3, including 932,000m3 processing residue  and 200,000m3 post-consumer recovered wood.

Table10.2 

Source: COFORD Connects: Woodflow for the Republic of Ireland 2009 (2010)

 Of the wood available for processing 1.602 m3 was used by the sawmilling sector, 1.286 m3 by the wood-based panel sector and 0.431 m3 for process drying, heat and power in the processing sector.  The balance was used for a variety of products including round stakes (88,000 m3), horticultural bark mulch (54,000 m3) and woodchip (55 m3).

Table10.3 

Source: COFORD Connects: Woodflow for the Republic of Ireland 2009 (2010)

Output from the sawmilling sector amounted to 772,000 m3 in 2009, of which 63% was for the export market. Sawmill output was used primarily in the production of construction timber, pallets and fencing.

The volume and value of imported forest products continued to fall in 2009. Imported sawn timber and wood based panels fell from 676,000 m3 in 2008 to 413,000 m3 in 2009, while the volume of pulp and paper products fell from 555,000 tonnes in 2008 to 411,000 tonnes in 2009. The total value of imported forest products fell by 40%, from €789 million in 2008 to €464 million in 2009.

Output from the wood-based panel sector amounted to 709,000 m3, of which 82% was exported. Wood-based panel output comprises OSB, MDF, chipboard, particleboard, and moulded doorskins.

Table10.4 

Source: COFORD Connects: Woodflow for the Republic of Ireland 2009 (2010)

Data based on Ireland’s EUROSTAT Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009