Sawlog prices in countries around the Baltic Sea have tracked each other closely for most of the past 20 years. In the first decade, sawlog prices in the Nordic countries were paid at a premium over other regions, and in the following decade, the South-eastern markets (the Baltic States and Poland) had the highest log costs.
In 2020, just over 4.3 million m3 of softwood logs were shipped overseas between countries in the Baltic Sea region. A large share of the trade was from Estonia and Latvia to Finland and Sweden. There were also other significant trade flows were those from Norway to Germany, Finland to Sweden, and Germany to Lithuania. About half of the traded softwood log volume has been sawlogs, a ratio that has been relatively stable the past five years.
Softwood log exports from the Baltic States have trended downward since their 20-year peak in 2014, with estimated total shipments in 2021 being about 40% lower than in 2014. Instead, exports of softwood lumber have gone up during the same period, continuing a longer upward trend that started in 2008. As a result, the three Baltic States, less than 1% of Europe's forest area, now account for almost 10 percent of Europe's total lumber exportation.