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Firewood - a pandemic proof industry and how to invest in it.

Lockdown stokes demand for firewood

During the pandemic, we are seeing many industries suffer, such as travel, hospitality, the auto industry and retail. Whereas some are left unaffected. According to Harvard Business Review, these industries include housing and utility consumption, financial services, and off-premise food. Using a household budget as an analogy, you can think of these as “fixed costs” that cannot be reduced easily. This amounts to about 46% of U.S. consumption and never dipped.

Amongst pandemic-proof industries is firewood. 2020 has been a very good year for wood fuel (firewood and charcoal) with the growing demand leaving some countries such as New Zealand and Melbourne struggling to keep up with the growing demand for firewood (click here to read more). This fortifies the expectations made by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.

Such rising demand comes from people being stuck at home amid a cold winter, burning through firewood at a high pace while retailers are struggling to keep up with the demand. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that about 10 per cent of Victorian households use wood as the main source of heating and 40% in the Scandinavian countries including Ireland.

Robert Eddy, from Eddy Haulage, a 40-year veteran of the timber industry, said demand had started increasing in 2019. "Last year, I saw my demand for firewood double and that trend has repeated again this year," he said.

Another supplier, who declined to be named for commercial reasons, said this year had been "absolutely crazy".

But firewood is not only for heating

“The most obvious demand is for biofuels at the moment. Everybody wants to have biofuels to replace fossil fuels.” says Göran Örlander, strategist at Södra, Sweden's largest association of forest owners.

Firewood is a sustainable resource compared to fossil fuels and close to carbon neutral. Forests are being replenished at the same rate as they are felled for fuel due to sustainable forestry management practices.

Other industries are also increasingly showing an interest in wood as a resource.

  • Södra has teamed up with Dutch airline KLM to explore the feasibility of producing jet fuel from forest biomass, and is also working with the Scandinavian airline SAS on plans for a pilot biofuel plant in the north of Sweden.

  • Bioplastic packaging - some of which relies on wood fibers is currently making up just one percent of total plastics production, but this is expected to grow over the coming years.

  • Architecture firms are also racing to use cross-laminated timber to replace carbon-intensive concrete and steel. Wood-based fibers now represent about six percent of all textiles.

With the rise of firewood and wood biofuel demand, so is the demand for sustainable firewood with the SWAN certificate, click here to find out more about SWAN. The SWAN certificate guarantees buyers that the wood comes from sustainable forestry producers. GG Capital is the first in Sweden and Finland to hold the SWAN Certificate.

GG Capital on the rise

As the demand is growing, so is GG Capital. Based in Switzerland, they are the biggest supplier of firewood (to over 50% of the market) to Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, the Baltics and Russia. They have close working relationships with sustainable forestry supplies and sell to existing clients such as Shell, Ingarö Ved, Norrort Ved, Kanava, K-RAUTA and Motoral, ICA,, JSP Trading and their network of over 100 end customers.

In the 4th Quarter 2020 they have signed two new clients. This announcement will come in the new year.

Invest in Firewood through a 12-month Fixed Income Plan

GG Capital offers those who wish to participate in the industry growth a 12-month Fixed Income Plan.

The company finances their growing customers’ demand and expansion through the 12-month firewood plan. For many years our clients have been receiving fixed income from the 12-month Firewood Savings plan. Currently, it pays 11% per year.

The interest is paid directly to your bank account every quarter. At the end of 12 months, you can either renew for another 12 months or redeem your capital.

Contact or click here to request the factsheet.


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