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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Firewood shortage looms

Sales are brisk for firewood dealers in the Oslo area, almost too brisk, given dwindling supplies.

“I don’t know if it’s the heavy snows last winter or whether electricity rates are scaring people,” one firewood dealer, John Erik Berg, told newspaper Aftenposten on Tuesday. “But the demand is enormous.”

Berg and others in the business are having trouble with the supply side. Norwegian suppliers mostly sell in large quantities, because it’s too expensive for them to package the firewood in 40- to 60-litre bags. That’s what many urban dwellers want, though, and countries like Estonia have been steady suppliers.

The problem, notes Berg, is that there’s little demand in the Baltic markets for Norwegian goods because they’re too expensive. So Baltic truckers who can ship wood to Norway risk driving home empty, vastly increasing their costs.

Berg was expecting new supplies from Sweden Tuesday evening and at least one truck from Estonia, “so that will improve the situation, but it’s been difficult to get hold of enough firewood (called ved in Norwegian).” He’s delivered around 20,000 sacks of wood to customers since October 1.

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