The Swiss timber harvest reached 5.2 million cubic meters in 2022, marking a significant 4% increase from 2021. Both sawn timber (+4%) and energy wood (+7%) showed substantial growth, driven by the energy crisis, demand for construction timber, and rising wood prices, providing private forest owners with a favorable market. This information is based on the Forestry Statistics from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) and the Federal Office for the Environment’s (FOEN) test operation network for forestry.
The trend in Swiss timber harvesting continues, marking the fourth consecutive increase since 2018. The volume of sawn timber amounted to about 2.6 million cubic meters, accounting for half of the total timber harvest. All forest regions saw a slightly larger harvest than the previous year, with the strongest increase in the Alps and Pre-Alps, both at +8%.
In 2022, around 3.5 million cubic meters of softwood and 1.7 million cubic meters of hardwood were harvested, maintaining the ratio of two-thirds (softwood) to one-third (hardwood). Softwood remained stable, while hardwood increased by 11%. Energy wood recorded significant growth, with 2.1 million cubic meters harvested, accounting for over 40% of the total wood harvesting.
The increasing importance of energy wood is linked to rising demand for wood-fired heating systems and the ongoing energy crisis. However, the volume of industrial wood decreased significantly compared to the previous year (-12%), falling below the 10% mark in the total timber harvest.
Private forest owners benefited from the rising timber prices, leading to an increase in timber harvest on private properties by nearly 10% in 2022. While companies in the Midlands, Alps, and Southern Alps faced deficits, those in the Jura Arc and Pre-Alps reported profits.
In the test operation network, losses decreased substantially, attributed to lower losses in forest management, accompanied by increased revenue from timber sales.