In 2015, 59 million cubic metres of timber was harvested in Finland. Aprroximately 80% of the wood was harvested from private forests.
According to a Natural Resources Institute (Luke) study, about 85 million cubic metres of wood could be sustainably harvested in Finland each year.
Incentives for an active forest economy
Every year, Finland’s forest resources grow more than they are used. This presents opportunities to increase the diverse use of this domestic raw material. Over a quarter of harvesting opportunities go unused each year because not enough wood is offered on the market.
The more logs are harvested for construction needs; the more pulpwood is available for pulp and paper manufacturing as well as biomass for the production of renewable energy. At the same time, thinning must be increased so that Finland’s forests continue to grow healthily in future.
High raw material prices weaken the industry’s competitiveness
A steady supply of wood at competitive prices is an essential requirement for forest industry production and investments in Finland. Supply guarantee is vital in international competition. Markets lost due to raw material shortages are hard to win back.
Drastic fluctuations in raw material costs increase the industry’s cyclical nature, which is something we cannot afford in international competition.
Securing competitively priced raw material for industry is the best guarantee for a profitable forest economy in the long-term from the perspective of forest owners also.
Domestic timber supply is complemented with imported timber
The greater part of the timber used by the forest industry, 87 per cent, is procured in Finland. Timber has also been imported into Finland because the domestic timber supply has not been sufficient.
Most of the imported wood is pulpwood or woodchip. For example, there is not enough Finnish birch pulpwood available for the industry’s needs, thus production lines have to sometimes be idled or transitioned to other wood types, such as pine.
Most of the wood imported from Russia to Finland has been wood that is little used in Russia. Woodchip imports have also increased due to sawmill investments.
In 2015, a total of 9.6 million cubic metres of roundwood with bark was imported into Finland.
The division of roundwood imports by country was as follows:
- Russia 83%
- Baltic countries 15%
- Other countries about 2%
In 2015, timber imports accounted for 13% of the Finnish forest industry’s wood consumption.