Germany Is the Largest Peat Exporter, Sending Abroad over 60% of Its Production

Peat June 05, 2018
Blog Blog  /  Mining  /  Peat
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: Peat - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Global Peat Consumption Remains Relatively Stable

From 2007 to 2016, theglobal  peat market fluctuated widely in certain years, finally dropping from 30.8M tonnes in 2007 to 27.9M tonnes in 2016, which was equal to 9% decline. Over the last year, the peat market retained the level of the previous year. According to indexBox estimates, in wholesale prices it stood at $3.8B in 2016. This figure reflects total revenue of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

Peat Market Is Forecasted to Reach 30.6M Tonnes by 2025

Peat is commonly used for two major applications: energy - as fuel for electricity and heat generation, both industrial and residential; and agriculture - as growing substrate, soil improver, compost ingredient. While in some countries peat is more commonly used for agriculture, in North European countries it is used as an energy fuel.

Peat is an important source of energy that most countries produce. Over the years, more uses of peat are emerging as we use it traditionally in cooking and heating. In some other countries, people use peat in water infiltration. 

In the medium term, a modest rate of growth of +1.0% is forecast in terms of peat consumption, leading the market to 30.6M tonnes in 2025. This growth will essentially be fueled by demand from Northern Europe, where peat is traditionally used as a fuel for heating. The growth should be supported by moderate economy expansion and slow population growth in major consuming countries; this will promote the expansion of the food industry (including the agricultural sector) and the demand for fuel.

Finland, Sweden and Ireland Remain Key Peat Consuming Countries

The country with the highest consumption was Finland (7,478 thousand tonnes), accounting for 27% of total consumption in 2016. It was followed by Sweden (12%), Ireland (12%), Germany (8%), the U.S. (5%), Belarus (5%), Russia (3%), Poland (3%), the Netherlands (3%), the UK (2%) and Ukraine (2%). All these countries together made up abot 5% of global consumption.

The highest annual rates of growth with regard to peat consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in Germany, with a +3.8% growth, Ireland and Poland, with +3.2% growth and +1.6% growth. Following significant rates of growth in consumption, Ireland (+4 percentage points) and Germany (+3 percentage points) strengthened their shares in terms of global consumption from 2007 to 2016. By contrast, the share of Finland (-5 percentage points), Belarus (-3 percentage points) and Sweden (-2 percentage points) declined over the period under review.

Amongst the leading consuming countries, high levels of per capita consumption were recorded in Finland (1,362 kg/year in 2016), which was significantly higher than the world average of 4 kg/year. In these country, there was a notable decline of per capita consumption at -3.3% per year, from 2007 to 2016.

Output Increased Slightly over the Last Year, but still Remains Short of the Figure Recorded in 2007 

Production of peat stood at 28.5M tonnes in 2016, which remained relatively unchanged against the previous year; this, however, still was 2.6M tonnes (8%) less than the peak level of production achieved in 2007. Global peat output had been relatively flat over the last four years; prior to that, it sluctuated somewhat noticeably, bottoming out from 2008-2009, bouncing back in the following year and then declining gradually from 2011-2012.

Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Germany Were Constituted the Largest Producers of Peat Wordwide

Finland was a key world peat producing country, with an output of approx. 7.5M tonnes in 2016, which accounted for 26% of total global output. The other major producers were Ireland (15%), Sweden (12%), Germany (12%), distantly followed by Latvia (6%), Belarus (5%) and Canada (4%). Latvia (+5.4%), Ireland (+3.3%) and Germany (+1.2%) were the countries with growing production volumes; the other main producing countries had negative paces of growth.

Approx. 33% of Global Peat Production Is Sent for Export

Peat is a widely traded commodity, with the share of exports in total global output reaching approx. 33% in 2016. Moreover, since 2007, this share increased by +6 percentage points. Peat will continue to be highly traded, fueled by increasing consumption, and intense global and regional integration. 

Germany Is the Largest Peat Exporter, Sending Abroad over 60% of Its Production

In 2016, the volume of total peat exports amounted to 9.4M tonnes. At the same time, the total value of peat exports stood at $1.2B in 2016, growing with a CAGR of +2.2% from 2007 to 2016.

In 2016, Germany (2.1M tonnes), Latvia (1.5M tonnes), Canada (1.2M tonnes), Ireland (1.0M tonnes), the Netherlands (1.0M tonnes),  Lithuania (742K tonnes) and Estonia (669K tonnes) were the main exporters of peat in the world, together comprising 87% of global exports. Moreover, Germany exported approx. 61% of its peat output. Amongst these countries, Latvia and Lithuania recorded the fastest rates of growth, with a CAGR of +4.7% each over the period under review. They were followed by the Netherlands (+4.5%), Ireland (+3.8%) and Canada (+1.3%), while Germany (-1.5%) and Estonia (-3.0%) showed a negative trend. 

From 2007 to 2016, Latvia (+4 percentage points), the Netherlands (+3 percenatge points), Ireland and Lithuania (+2 percentage points, each) strengthened their position in terms of the global peat exports. By contrast, Germany (-6 percenatge points) and Estonia (-3 percentage points) saw their shares reduced over the same period.

The Netherlands, the USA, Germany and the UK Held 50% of Global Peat Imports

In 2016, the volume of total peat imports stood at 8.8M tonnes. Imports trend pattern generally mirrored that of exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. In value terms, global peat imports totaled $1.3B in 2016, increasing with a CAGR of +2.2% from 2007 to 2016.

The main importers of peat were the Netherlands (1.7M tonnes), the U.S. (1.1M tonnes), Germany (908K tonnes), the UK (664K tonnes), France (587K tonnes), Belgium (554K tonnes), Italy (523K tonnes), together making up 69% of total imports. From 2007-2016, the U.S. recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to peat imports, with a CAGR of +1.6%. 

Do you want to know more about the global peat market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • peat market share
  • peat prices
  • peat industry
  • peat sales
  • peat import
  • peat export
  • peat market forecast
  • peat price forecast
  • key peat producers

Source: World: Peat - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025