Global Peat Market Growth to Remain Weak

Peat April 26, 2017
Blog Blog  /  Mining  /  Peat
Author: Irina Andreeva
Market Analyst

peat market

Photo: © khunaspix / Bigstockphoto

According to market research conducted by IndexBox, the global peat market fluctuated mildly from 2007 to 2015, finally dropping to 28,399 thousand tonnes, which was equal to 9% decline against the outset level. In value terms, it stood at 794 million USD in 2015, rising by +8% from the previous year level.

In the medium term, a modest rate of growth of +1.0% is forecast in terms of peat consumption, leading the market to 31.4 million tonnes in 2025. This growth will essentially be fueled by demand from Northern Europe, where peat is traditionally used as a fuel for heating.

Peat is used as a fuel, fertilzer and heat-insulating material, as well as for other purposes. In horticulture, peat provides an ideal solution for water retention and drainage, as a result of its fibrous and porous structure. In industry, peat is mainly used as a filter medium to remove toxic materials from industrial or process waste, pathogenic bacteria from waste or discharge water, and harmful substances in urban sewage. Peat is also a highly effective absorbing material for either land or water-based fuel and oil spillages. Peat is classified according to the amount of decomposed plant material it contains, thereby affecting its ash content.

The use of peat as an energy resource spans many centuries. In Northern Europe, peat was used an alternative to wood for heating and cooking. Global peat consumption peaked in the mid 20th century, and then started to decline sharply, mainly due to the fact that it was being replaced by natural gas, coal and petroleum products. Oil and gas can boast a number of advantages over peat. Peat has a low energy capacity per unit volume and mass in comparison with traditional primary energy resources; it also incurs various costs for processing, storage for year-round use and transportation. These factors mean that the key peat producers are located in the central regions of peat consumption.

Peat is also widely used in agriculture. It is used as a soil-type material, and as a raw material for organic fertilizers; peat is also applied in its pure form, as litter on livestock farms.

There has been a degree of environmental concern regarding the use of peat for some years now, particularly in the horticultural sector, where various types of alternative fertilzers to peat are now becoming available, such as wood-based waste and coconut fibres. However, peat continues to be used in agriculture in countries where peat is popular. Finland, Germany, Russia and Canada are all major producers of agricultural peat.

The use of peat as a fuel resource accounts for almost an intangible share in global total energy consumption. In Northern Europe, however, in countries such as Finland, Sweden and Ireland, peat consumption is high. Peat is used as a domestic and industrial fuel, in thermal power stations and heating plants.

In Finland, Sweden and Ireland, the popularity of peat as a fuel is ensured by the availabilty of this resource and its high quality. In addition, these countries are investing in the modernisation and overhaul of peat-driven electric power plants. According to various estimates, approx. 10% of total energy consumption in these three countries is peat-based.

In Germany and the USA, next in terms of peat consumption after Northern Europe, peat production is mainly for agricultural purposes. Both Germany and the USA can boast a significant volume of peat imports. The USA purchases peat mainly from neighbouring Canada, a major global exporter.

Overall, in the medium term, it is projected that peat consumption will increase at a moderate pace. The robust demand from Northern Europe is set to continue, against a general economic recovery and a rising population, promoting the expansion of the food industry (including the agricultural sector) and the demand for fuel.

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 market forecast
  • peat price forecast
  • key peat producers

Source: World: Peat - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025