Wood prices rise as demand increases across Europe
Demand for firewood across Europe is leading to rising prices for the product in Northern Ireland.
The main suppliers of wood, for stoves, burners and open fires, have upped their prices amid the continuing energy crisis largely driven by Russia disrupting the supply of gas to European countries.
While it is impossible to directly compare prices in the firewood market, one supplier is quoting a price of £58 for a four pack - roughly the size of a wheelie bin - up more than £10 in recent months.
One industry insider admitted the prices are rising as demand increases across Europe.
“It is pressure from Europe because there is no gas coming from the Nord Stream pipeline,” he said.
Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy company, announced on Friday it was stopping the flow of gas through the Baltic sea pipeline indefinitely, purportedly after a leak was discovered.
Wood is still used in stoves, some linked to boilers, and fires by ten of thousands of households.
Most of the kiln dried product, often silver birch, is sourced in eastern Europe, particularly the Baltic states.
Some wood is available for sale here, including the harder and longer burning ash, oak and beech, much of it from old country estates.
But a lot of work needs to be done to store and dry the wood before it can be used, said Richard Poulter, managing director of Newtownards-based stove supplier, The Stove Yard.
While much cheaper, most people do not have the time, energy or the proper storage area to prepare the wood for burning, Mr Poulter said, adding a trailer full of wood from the estates can still be bought for £60 to £70.
He added there is a definite uptick in demand for wood burning stoves but there is not the supply to keep up. Again, demand is growing, particularly in Germany.