- Sputnik International, 1920
Energy Crisis in Europe
Europe is bracing for tough winter as US-led push to “punish” Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine backfired on the EU, which has faced months of skyrocketing energy prices and rising inflation after Brussels joined Washington in attempting to “phase out” Russian oil, coal and gas.

Price of Birch Firewood Doubles in Finland Amid Energy Crunch

© Sputnik / Kirill Shipitsyn / Go to the mediabankFirewood
Firewood - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.10.2022
Birch is cherished for one of the highest heat contents and ranks among Finland's most popular types of firewood, being sought-after by private homes and industry alike. Due to its support of EU-wide sanctions against Russian energy, however, Finland was left in a pinch facing harsh demand and exorbitant prices amid streaks of panic buying.
Due to explosive demand since late summer, the price of firewood has doubled across Finland, prompting massive delays in deliveries and even shutdowns of online stores unable to keep up with demand.
Birch has one of the highest heat contents and ranks among both Finland's most common tree species and most popular types of firewood coveted by private homes and industry alike.

“The energy crisis came as a bit of a surprise to everyone. The price of dry birch wood has doubled, and there is also pressure to increase prices further this winter”, Pentti Karttunen, CEO of Vantaa-based Maatukku, one of Finland's largest firewood retailers, said, citing a massive backlog, with new orders for wood coming by the minute.

Most wood for Finland's industrial needs was imported from Russia, but the supplies stalled due to sanctions against Russian energy intended as “punishment” for Moscow's special operation in Ukraine. According to Finland's Natural Resources Institute (Luke), in 2021, 74 percent of the raw wood imported to the Nordic country came from Russia, the majority of imports being just firewood. Due to its eager support of the anti-Russian sanctions, Helsinki therefore shot itself in the foot, prompting buyers to hunt replacement wood on the already strained domestic market.
Fully covering the demand with domestic birch is not easy, as it tends to grow in mixed forests alongside other three species. Meanwhile, local producers' wholesale prices have been pushed up by higher costs for fuel, electricity and other staples.
Marjaana Suominen, the owner of Espoo-based Klapila, yet another major firewood dealer, described the situation as “the seller's market”, citing inquiries not only from across Finland, but from other Nordic countries as well.
She stressed that owners of houses with electric heating are particularly avidly preparing for the coming winter by hoarding firewood, in a bid to reduce their electricity bills, despite experts' warnings of air pollution and unhealthy effects of wood burning.
An LNG regasification terminal - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2022
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Some companies, such as Lapland Forest Products, are already sold out of firewood, which normally doesn't happen until December. This, in turn, spurs panic buying and drives demand and prices further up.
Due to exorbitant demand of wood, cabin owners have been warned to protect themselves from wood snatchers. Thefts of firewood have already been reported at public campfire sites in Finnish cities such as Tampere.
Prices of firewood have soared alongside demand in numerous nations across Europe, including the Baltic States and fellow Nordic countries anticipating a harsh winter. According to Marjo Maidell, a forest economist at Pellervo Economic Research (PTT), energy prices will remain high throughout the winter, affecting the demand for firewood and further spurring its use.
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