Markets and products

Statistics of the production and consumption of forest-based products.

Sweden is one of the world’s largest producers of pulp, paper and sawn wood products. The wood products we use to build houses are almost 100 percent Swedish. Just over half of the paper we consume is made in Sweden and comes mainly from Swedish forests.  

60 percent of consumption is packaging material in the form of packaging paper, corrugated cardboard and cardboard. Graphic paper like newsprint and other printing paper accounts for approximately 23 percent. Tissue paper makes up 16 percent. 

When it comes to wood products for construction and carpentry, we continue to buy Swedish. Despite ups and downs in the construction sector, the consumption of wood products has remained relatively constant over the past ten years. 

Being one of the world’s largest exporters of forest-based products is not the same as being among largest producers. Some countries produce mainly for domestic consumption, while Sweden exports most of its pulp, paper and sawn wood products. More than half of the exports of forest-based products are exported to countries within Europe. 

Sweden is one of the world’s largest producers of pulp, paper and sawn wood products. A large part of the production is exported. Since 1975, global paper production has constantly increased, while pulp production has remained relatively stable. This is due to the increasing use of recycled paper in paper production. 

Sweden is also a dominant player in the global market for wood products. Among the world’s largest exporters of sawn timber, Sweden ranked third after Russia and Canada in 2020. 

When the exports of pulp, paper, cardboard and sawn wood products are combinded, it is Canada, Russia and the USA that export the most - with Sweden in fourth place.  

Statistics from 2020 show that Brazil, Canada and the United States top the list of countries that exported the most pulp. Sweden comes in sixth place, just after Finland. Sweden was the world’s third largest exporter of paper and cardboard, after Germany and the USA. Most sawn wood products in the world were exported from Russia, Canada and Sweden. 

In 2022, sanctions were imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine. This will be noticeable in the statistics going forward.   

Of the paper produced in Sweden, packaging material constitutes a large and growing part. The export share is approximately 90 percent, except for tissue of which a large portion goes to the Swedish market. In 2013, several paper making machines were shut down in Sweden, following declining demand for graphic paper. During 2020, a couple of mills were closed. The demand for packaging materials has increased and tissue paper has been stable in recent years. China, the USA and Japan are large producers of paper and cardboard.  

The Swedish sawmill industry is the world's third largest exporter of conifer wood products and the sixth largest producer. Large quantities of wood are also consumed in the Swedish construction sector and the wood processing industry. Europe is the Swedish sawmill industry’s most important market, and Great Britain in particular. Since the 1970s, production has been concentrated in fewer sawmills. The degree of refinement has gradually increased and it is also becoming more common for sawmills to use a single wood species.  

Today there are approximately 140 sawmills in Sweden.

Collection and recycling of paper and waste is high in the Swedish forest-based industry, which has a well-functioning circular process. Recycled paper is largely used to produce newsprint and toilet paper.