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Latvian vs Russian Birch Plywood

Announcing the arrival of Latvian Birch Plywood to Plyco, now shipping Australia wide.

Latvian Baltic Birch Plywood plantation

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the timber industry has experienced a protracted global supply shock. With Russia controlling the largest supplier of birch plywood globally, the industry faced an existential crisis in which the industry was uncertain to survive. The arrival of Latvian Birch to Plyco demonstrates our unwavering support of local customers and our ongoing commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing.

In announcing the arrival of this update to our birch plywood range, we decided to explain the differences between Latvian vs. Russian Birch Plywood and why Latvian Birch is much needed substitute for Australian builders.

Grungy workshop featuring Plyco's Birch Plywood

Origin Story

Historically, a significant portion of birch plywood circulating both in Australia and globally has been baltic birch sourced from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Though perhaps politically incorrect, these products were collectively grouped as "Russian Birch" to describe their general origin and distinguish them from other European and Asian plantation grown birch

The primary competitor to Russian Birch in the European timber market is sourced in the baltic states. Plantation grown Baltic Birch Plywood is produced in Finland, Poland and Latvia. Latvian European Premium Baltic Birch Plywood. This distinction between Russian Birch and Latvian Baltic Birch however has become all the more important after the Australian government slapped severe sanctions on Russian products in the aftermath of the Ukrainian invasion.

Plyco's Latvian Baltic Birch Plywood project used for a furniture project

Production & Certification

The new stock of birch plywood arriving to Plyco is all conflict-free birch plywood sourced from certified logs in Latvia. Grown in sustainable Latvian birch plantations, these logs journey to China for precision cutting and manufacturing. At each stage of the supply chain this timber carries a documented stamp of approval that satisfies the high standards of Australian customs. If there was any suspicion of Russian or Ukrainian origins it would never leave the ports in Melbourne or Sydney!

A combination of CD Structural and Latvian Birch Plywood used for wall linings in a bedroom

Timber Properties

Latvian and Russian birch plywood have distinct origins, but what are the similarities between the two when it comes to using them in your projects? It turns out that they're almost identical, offering all the things you loved about our existing Birch Plywood with none of the warfare!

Both Russian Birch and Latvian Baltic Birch Plywood boast the same whitish hue, indicative of their northern origins and the cold climates of their plantations. This is in contrast to the pinkish colouration typically found amongst birch plantations in southern regions due to the warmer climate. Plyco assures customers that the face veneer remains consistent with the quality they've come to expect.

Likewise, Latvian Baltic Birch Plywood boasts the same grain patterns, textures, consistency, construction, moisture resistance and stability. The adhesives used to bond the sheets are also both A Bond Exterior. Though both types of Birch Plywood are not structurally rated, they're composed entirely of birch and the quality and uniformity is everything you'd expect from a premium product.

Local plywood supplier Plyco's Latvian Birch Plywood used for cabinetry in a bedroom

Thicknesses & Pricing

While Russian birch plywood has been available in all thicknesses from 6mm - 30mm, Plyco's Latvian Birch Plywood will initially be offered in 6mm, 12mm, 18mm, and 25mm for both our Large Birch Sheets and Smaller Birch Handy Panels. The 4mm and 30mm variants aren't available currently, however a 30mm variant might soon join the lineup based on local demand in Melbourne.

For those seeking birch plywood in Australia, Plyco ensures that the prices for the Latvian variant remain consistent with the previous range, ensuring quality and sustainability without any added cost. See our price list for the most up to date pricing information available for Birch Plywood.

Wrapping Up

Plyco's commitment to offering the best birch plywood products in Australia remains the same as it always has been in our 20 year history! With the introduction of Latvian Birch Plywood, Plyco isn't just setting a new benchmark for itself but for the entire industry. Dive into this updated range and feel good about these responsibly sourced products!

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