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Research Article  |  Published 12 April 2019

Spatial Concentration of Biomass Production Sector in the European Union

Vlada Vitunskiene* and Neringa Ramanauske 

Research Institute for Bioeconomy, Faculty of Bioeconomy Development, Vytautas Magnus University, LT-53361 Akademija, Lithuania.

Abstract

Since the beginning of this decade, the European bioeconomy has gained political momentum and strategic importance. Long-term strategic target of the European Union for creating a competitive, resource-efficient and low-carbon economy by 2050 lays high expectations upon bioeconomy development. The transition from fossil-based economy to bioeconomy fosters increasing demand for biomass both within domestic markets and global market. The demand for biomass is further enhanced by the increasing need for food and feed, bioenergy and other bio-based products. Production of the main share of biomass will first of all rely on the primary biomass production activities. The aim of this paper is to assess the spatial concentration of biomass production sector in the European Union through applying a location quotient technique in order to quantify relative importance of biomass production (as well as its separate activities – agriculture, forestry, fishing and aquaculture) in each member state economy compared to the whole European Union economy. The gross value added and biomass export were used for location quotient analysis. To identify medium-term shifts in relative concentration of biomass production changes in the location quotients were analysed. The findings indicate that the differences in relative concentration of forestry as well as fishing and aquaculture are quite high among the European Union member states – strong spatial concentrations exist in one or another state, whilst differences in relative concentration of agriculture are noticeably lower. Positive and moderately strong correlation between relative concentration of biomass production and relative specialisation in biomass export was established.

Keywords:
Location quotient, concentration, biomass, agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, value added, export.

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