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Report: Contribution of forestry sector, wood-based industries reaches 9.86 billion euros annually

The total contribution of the forestry sector and wood-based industries has reached 9.86 billion euros annually, taking into account both the direct impact, which has grown constantly in the last five years, as well as the indirect effects and the growth potential is high, shows a report made by PwC Romania at the request of the Wood Industry Association - Prolemn.

The report concerns "The socio-economic and climatic impact of the forestry sector and wood-based industries in Romania".

At the same time, this sector and its related industries contribute to the national budget with 3.2 billion euros, in the form of tax revenues and social health insurance contributions, and support more than 330,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

"The direct contribution of forestry and wood-based industries was, in 2020, 1.6pct to GDP, while the total impact of economic activities, which also includes indirect and induced effects, is much higher, reaching 4.5pct of GDP. If we consider that the degree of afforestation is 29pct of the area, below the EU average of 38pct, and that there are about 2 million hectares of unused area, which has neither agricultural nor forestry use, as well as the fact that other states in the European Union register a direct contribution to GDP about three times higher than Romania, means that our country has an important resource for afforestation and a potential for growth in particular for wood-based industries," PwC Romania Country Managing Partner Dinu Bumbacea said.

According to European statistics, Romania harvests a commercial volume of 33pct of the total annual forest growth, while the European average is around 63pct, and the first three countries harvest over or close to 100pct, PwC Romania points out.

The total production of woody mass, of only 2.3 cubic meters of commercial raw round wood per hectare, is among the lowest in Europe, countries with similar conditions to Romania having a much higher harvest index (Poland 4.6 mc/year/ ha, Austria 4.9 mc/year/ha, Germany 6.8 mc/year/ha).

Approximately one third of the raw wood harvested is used as fuel for heating, which places Romania among the countries with a high consumption of firewood for heating, being surpassed only by France among the countries with a higher production than Romania.

The over 14,900 active companies in the forestry sector and wood-based industries generated a turnover of over 9.7 billion euros in 2021 (over 20 pp compared to the previous year, mainly due to price increases) and exports of over 7pct of Romania's total exports, with a total net foreign exchange contribution of around 2.2 billion euros in the case of the wood processing and furniture sectors respectively, with relatively equal weights.