29-10-2013 kl. 16:23
The Latvian forestry industry is continuing to see a rise in export values, with new figures showing a marked climb over the first eight months of 2013.
LETA/Nozare.lv reports that the total value of these exports rose to 874.66 million lats (€1.24 billion) over the period, which is markedly higher than during the same eight-month spell in 2012, when 807.15 million lats was recorded.
Using data from the Agriculture Ministry's Forest Department, it was calculated that the value of the exports industry has therefore jumped by 8.4 per cent over the past year.
It was shown that Sweden was the main forest industry export partner of Latvia in the period between January and August this year at 12.3 per cent and standing at 107.86 million lats worth of forest industry production.
This was just ahead of the 12.3 per cent and 107.21 million lats reported with regard to Great Britain and the 12 per cent and 105.12 million lats posted for Germany.
According to the findings, timber exports amounted to 754.88 million lats for the eight-month period, which was 86.3 per cent higher than the level recorded for the corresponding timeframe in 2012.
As far as forest industry imports are concerned, it was found that these came to a total of 269.9 million lats across the eight months - a 20 per cent climb on the 224.76 million lats posted for the same time period the year before.
Lithuania has been highlighted as Latvia's main forestry partner so far this year, with 21.2 per cent and 57.21 million lats worth of total forest industry imports, followed by Poland (12.9 per cent, 34.87 million lats) and Estonia (11.3 per cent and 30.56 million lats).
LETA also reports that Latvia has been named as one of the top five European Union (EU) countries that are covered by forests and other wooded areas. This is according to research carried out by the European Commission, which found the nation is one of only five in the EU that has forests covering more than half of its total land area.
It was shown that Latvia has claimed the fifth spot in the rundown with 56 per cent, behind Sweden (56 per cent), Finland (72 per cent), Estonia (61 per cent) and Slovenia (60 per cent).
At the other end of the scale, Ireland and the Netherlands (both 13 per cent) and Malta (five per cent) are propping up the table.
The findings, which are published by Eurostat - the statistical office of the EU - and use the Land Use/Cover Area Frame Survey, revealed that forests currently cover 38 per cent of the bloc's territory, which is equivalent to a total of 159 million hectares.
In comparison, 40 per cent of the total area of the EU was covered by forests and other wooded land in 2012, while cropland accounted for around one-fifth and grassland made up a further one-fifth.