lumber from russia

Russian lumber: all you need to know when buying lumber from Russia

The main export destinations for lumber from Russia are Turkey, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Latvia, Japan, China, Egypt, European countries, where there are mountainous terrain and few trees growing.

Timber is a tree that has been cut down or had been partially sectioned. Still has bark, some small branches, etc.. Lumber is the finished product made from timber, ready to build with.

Lumber prices in Russia

Lumber prices depend on many factors: site location and sawing, moisture content, and type of wood. This means that larch lumber is more expensive than spruce or pine.

After drying, the price goes up because the removal of moisture prevents the formation of cracks.

The next factor in pricing is the grade and size of the lumber. You need to understand exactly for what purposes you use the lumber.

Specifics of lumber exports from Russia

Export of lumber (processed and unprocessed) is a rather labor-intensive process. The work is complicated by difficult climatic conditions, seasonality, and the need to use different types of transport.

All activities for harvesting and organizing the shipment can be divided into several stages, which are accompanied by the preparation of an extensive list of documents.

A number of organizations are also involved in the process of organization of sawn timber export:

  • chamber of commerce and industry;
  • representative offices of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade;
  • plant protection stations;
  • customs house;
  • transport enterprises;
  • banks and insurance companies.

Legal support is required for the execution of all necessary documents.

Demanded types of softwood and hardwood:

  • Coniferous species: fir, spruce, cedar, pine.
  • Deciduous species: birch, alder, oak, maple, aspen, poplar, walnut, ash, beech.

Types of lumber

There are several types of lumber:

  • Trimmed (they have an even, perpendicular edge);
  • Unedged (they have a beveled side edge not peeled from the bark);
  • Obzolnye (when running down the log part of the surface is not sawed).

At the same time conifers are split into only 3 types:

  • Planks – the thickness is 2 times the width;
  • Planks – the thickness is less than the width not more than 1,5-2 times;
  • Planks – width and thickness over 100 mm.

The 3 main geometric groups into which wood material is divided:

  • thin (16-22 mm;)
  • medium (25-44 mm.);
  • thick (50-100 mm.).

In width, the material is divided into 2 groups:

  • -narrow (up to 150 mm;)
  • wide (from 150 mm).

In length the material is divided into 2 groups:

  • short (up to 2.5 mm;)
  • long (from 2.5 mm.).

How is the quality of lumber determined?

All hardwoods are divided into 3 grades and conifers into 5 grades. Products without defects with a beautiful texture and uniform color along the entire length are called selected and labeled either with the letter “O” or a horizontal line. Other varieties are marked with numbers from 1 to 4. For marking use points, lines, numbers.

Products are evaluated by examining the worst side or edge. To determine the grade, there are a number of requirements described in GOST 24454-80. Check the presence/absence of knots, rot, cracks, warping, worm holes and quality of machining.

Grade 1 lumber and its characteristics. Lumber of this grade has optimal moisture level, even cut edges, parallel to the plane, and the tolerance limits can not go beyond the established GOST 24454-80 fields. The main difference of this plank grade is the absence of visible lesions of wood rotting bacteria. And the number of end cracks should not be more than 25%. Knots on the surface must be healthy. The edginess is no more than 20% of the entire area. But core fungal spots should not exceed 10% of the surface area of the building material. Thanks to the presentable appearance edged plank of the first grade is actively used for external finishing and in industrial production. First grade is suitable for the production of windows, doors, building structures, stairs, internal and external finishing.

lumber from russia
Lumber 1 grade.

Lumber 2nd grade. Lumber may have large resin pockets, as well as minor fungal staining. At the same time it is allowed to have quite a big rundown. One of the differences from the previous grades is that the scope of application of this lumber is much higher. This is due to the affordable price and satisfactory physical and performance characteristics. The edged plank of the second grade is perfectly suitable for making formwork, crates, scaffolding, framing systems for household constructions, as well as for making internal partitions in residential and non-residential premises. The main difference between the edged lumber grade 1 and grade 2 is the strictness of the production technology control. At the same time the performance characteristics of this type of lumber are practically the same.

Lumber 2nd grade.
Grade 2 lumber.

Grade 3 lumber. This is cheap lumber that has many visual and even structural defects. This edged material is most often used exactly on construction sites, but not as the main lumber. It is used for installing temporary structures, as well as during roughing work, for making containers and pallets.

Grade 3 lumber.
Grade 3 lumber.

Lumber Grade 4. Most often, this category includes rejected building materials, characterized by significant visual defects. They also have serious structural damage. Additionally, it is important to know how such lumber looks. Its appearance leaves much to be desired. Therefore, the lumber is used to assemble the formwork for the foundation and other similar tasks. The main application of these products is the manufacture or construction of temporary structures. The lumber of the 4th grade is absolutely not suitable for constructions that bear significant load.

Lumber Grade 4.
Lumber Grade 4.

The humidity of the fourth grade is not regulated. The rest should not exceed 22%. If the index is higher, it means that the wood is damp. It loses its strength, warping appears.

Peculiarities of lumber delivery

Most often, wood products are transported by rail, road, and sea.

Lumber is most often exported to Asian countries by rail, this is due to the fact that there is a direct rail connection between the countries. This greatly simplifies the method of delivery. And the speed and independence from weather conditions are significant advantages of delivery by train.

Russian lumber suppliers

It is difficult to find a bona fide supplier even for deliveries within Russia. Private owners of sawmills, small and large factories export.

At small enterprises, the price is much lower than at large ones. All of Russia deals with timber, the most popular species for export are conifers from the northern regions of Russia.

How much lumber is included

The answer to the question of how many cubic meters of lumber in a truck will depend on the species of wood and its moisture content. There is no arithmetic average here, the range of values is from 21 cubic meters to 40. The minimum figures include hardwoods. The maximum – pine in dry form. There is a simple formula: the greater the density and moisture content of the species, the heavier it is.

How many cubes of lumber in a truck of 20 tons?

How many cubes of lumber in a truck of 20 tons

Oak – about 21-23 cubic meters. Larch sawn timber – about 28-30 cubic meters, pine – 35-40 cubic meters. These data are presented for raw materials dried in the chambers. The maximum volume will also depend on the number of voids in the packing.

Raw timber weighs an order of magnitude more: by cramming it into the back of a timber truck or lorry, you risk earning overweight and, as a consequence, a fine. The volume of a 20-ton truck is 92 cubic meters.

But a freshly cut pine weighs 800 kilograms. Thus, 25 cubic meters of this wood would weigh 20 tons. The truck body will be one third full, but this is the maximum allowed.

How many cubes of edged boards in a truck? Here, too, everything depends on the moisture content. Boards are much smaller than logs, but their weight in some cases is not much less. The body can hold up to 45 cubic meters of dry boards and about 28-30 cubic meters of wet cargo.

How many cubic meters of lumber in a railcar?

How many cubic meters of lumber in a railcar

Up to 90 m3 of wet timber or other types of lumber can be loaded into one car, i.e. 3 times as much. Therefore, the most profitable transport for transporting large batches of sawn timber over long distances is the railroad.

Dimensions of softwood lumber

GOST 8486-86 also defines the exact geometric dimensions of sawn lumber (cross-section a X b and length L).

Softwood sawn lumber has thicknesses: 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 32, 40, 45, 50, 60, 75, 100, 130, 150, 180, 200, 220, and 250 mm, allowing deviations: for sawn timber up to 32 mm thickness ±1 mm; > 100 mm ±2 mm; over 100 mm ±3 mm.

The width of edged softwood lumber 80, 90, 100, 11.0, 130, 150, 180, 200, 220 and 250 mm is agreed with the thickness. The permissible deviations in width: up to 100 mm – ±2 mm, over 100 mm – ±3 mm.

The length of softwood lumber is defined from 1 to 6.5 m with a gradation of 0.25 m. The permissible length deviations are within +50 mm and -25 mm.

Thickness and width of bars – 100 – 250 mm.

How many pieces in a cube?

To find out how many pieces of edged lumber in a cubic meter, let’s calculate the volume of one product by multiplying the cross-section (a X b) by the length. For example, a lumber board made of pine 5 cm x 20 cm x 3 m has a volume of 0.03 cubic meters. Divide 1 cube by this value and get the answer to the question, how many pieces of three-meter planks, a thickness of 50 mm and a width of 200 mm, in a cube. Total: 33.3 pieces.

To find out how many meters of board in one cube, just multiply the number of planks in the cube by the length of the product.

How much does a cube of lumber weigh? Calculation example

To calculate the weight, you must multiply the volume by the density of the lumber. The latter factor depends on the humidity of the wood, the place where it grows and the part of the trunk from which the cut is made.

For example, let’s calculate the weight of 1 m3 of pine board. To do this, multiply 1m3 by the density of 520 kg/m3 and get 520 kg at 12% humidity. If the lumber is absolutely dry, this number will be 6-8% lower.

Lumber moisture

The natural moisture content of hardwoods is lower than that of conifers. This is due to the structure of wood. Spruce contains up to 90% moisture, while fir contains up to 92% moisture. In comparison, ash wood has only 36%. In addition, the percentage of water in the material is influenced by environmental conditions. In winter, plants go into “hibernation mode” and practically do not consume nutrients from the ground. Therefore, the moisture content in summer is much higher than in winter. Also, freshly cut wood has a much higher percentage of moisture than old-growth logs.

The job of those who process the lumber is to reduce the moisture content to the lowest possible percentage. This is done so that the billets gain the necessary hardness and strength. The wear and tear of the products whose material has undergone the drying process successfully is considerably lower.

Humidity also affects the size of blanks. The more the material dries, the smaller in size it becomes.

For the export duty to be zero, the humidity of the lumber should not exceed 22%.

List of documents for export of timber from Russia

In order to sell lumber abroad, you must first find partners, conclude a foreign economic contract and register the company at the customs.

Then it is drawn up:

  • transaction passport;
  • a letter with the request to allow the customs clearance of the shipment;
  • statement with the request to allow customs clearance of the attachment;
  • specification;
  • invoice;
  • phytosanitary certificate;
  • payment orders for payment of customs services and transportation.

In parallel with the execution of documents, work is carried out to prepare the products for shipment.


  • sawing the raw material into planks/blanks;
  • create packages for transportation;
  • wrap, strap and label them;
  • transport for loading.

At the same time, additional documents are prepared:

  • contracts with carriers are concluded;
  • opening invoices to pay for the services of carriers;
  • forwarding, transport, bank and insurance documents are prepared;
  • preparations are made for customs declaration;
  • products are declared to customs, and all necessary documents are prepared.

Only upon completion of all these measures is the cargo shipped to the buyer.

When exporting lumber purchased from a logging company, the buyer may require a contract of sale or lease of the plot. If the plot is leased, a forest declaration is required.

Features of Russian forest products

In Russia, 2/3 of the forest is larch, the second place is taken by pine, the third by spruce. Russian producers mainly export this timber. Oak, birch, beech, alder, ash, and aspen require pretreatment according to GOST requirements. The main types of deliveries are plank and beam. According to specialists’ forecasts, the demand for sawn timber exports will increase in the next few years.

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Importing lumber from Russia