Forests and the forestry sector
Forests account for 906 000 ha or 36 percent of total land area. More than four fifths of the forest is available for wood supply, and all but some small areas of plantations is classified as semi-natural.
As elsewhere in the Balkans, broadleaved species predominate Macedonia´s forests, with beech and oak being the principal species. High forest makes up only about a third of the forest area, the remainder being coppice, much of it of poor quality. Consequently, net annual increment per hectare is well below the European average. Nearly three quarters of the area of forest and other wooded land is owned by the State, with the remainder being owned by private owners in small parcels.
State-owned forests constitute 817 000 ha or 92 percent while private ownership covers 89 000 ha or 8.4 percent of forests in Macedonia. State-owned forests are managed by 30 public enterprises. Three national parks and five enterprises manage protective forests and forests with special purpose.
Products and trade
The primary use of wood in this country is fuel. The remaining wood consists mainly of hardwood logs, which are processed in local sawmills. Nearly half of the sawn hardwood is exported while demand for softwoods and paper is met by imports. Macedonia imports more forest products than it exports. It imports about US$43 million while it exports about 7 million worth of forest products. Most of the forest output is used to meet national demands and only 1 percent of the total output is exported.
Sustainable management of forests is a key component in Macedonia. As a result, wood stock surface area and production potential has increased over the years.
Last updated: August 2004