Price mechanisms for wood fuels
A well functioning and transparent European bioenergy market is vital to promote efficient utilization of wood fuel resources, something that is important to fulfill EU goals for energy security and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. The unsatisfactory level of transparency in the EU bioenergy markets has been especially the case for prices and price development of wood fuels. This constitutes a problem for further market development. Without reliable information about prices for different assortments of wood fuels, policy makers and industry actors lack a vital piece of information needed to design policy measures or make investment decisions. A key aim of EUBIONET III was to make national price statistics for wood fuels available on an international level, thereby mitigating the lack of price transparency and contributing to a more efficient European bioenergy market.
Another aspect of the wood fuel prices is the question of what actually decides wood fuel prices. While the price of oil and policy measures aiming to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are often seen as the key components in creating demand for wood fuels and other renewables, it is not the only factor when determining the actual price. This is particularly true for wood fuels, which to a large extent are integrated in the forest industry and highly dependent on the development in this sector. Furthermore, the increase in the trade of wood fuels can also be expected to have an impact on prices as producers and consumers alike seek for new markets, thereby increasing competition. EUBIONET III sheded some light on the mechanisms that determine wood fuel prices.
Summary reports of actions
Wood fuel price statistics in Europe, August 2011
Wood fuel price statistics in Europe, June 2010/November 2010
Price mechanisms for wood fuels, April 2010
Price index for industrial wood pellets
FOEX indexes Ltd. price index for industrial wood pellets - Press release in English (pdf)
Johan Vinterbäck (email: johan.vinterback(at)slu.se)
Photo: Vapo Oy