Forest industry products generated €8.6 billion in export revenues in 2009

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Paper and paperboard accounted for three-quarters of forest industry exports – with magazine paper, fine paper and packaging paperboard being the most significant trade articles.

Three-quarters of forest industry exports go to Europe
“EU Member States received 64% of the forest industry’s exports in 2009 and the rest of Europe accounted for a little over 10%. Almost 12% of exports went to Asia and about 6% to North America,” says Esa-Jukka Käär, the Chief Economist of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“Germany was still the biggest client country by far; the industry exported €1.6 billion’s worth of products there. The UK, USA and Russia were the next most important export destinations.”

Over 90% of paper and paperboard production is exported

The value of paper industry exports, i.e. paper, paperboard and products processed from them, was €6.4 billion. This accounts for around three-quarters of the overall value of forest industry exports. Some 91% of paper and paperboard production was exported.

Mechanical printing and writing paper (magazine paper) was still the biggest product category in paper industry exports; exports of these goods generated revenues of €2.3 billion. Exports of fine paper brought in €1.6 billion and paperboard exports earned almost as much. The total value of exports of packaging paper and other paper grades such as tissue papers exceeded €400 million. The value of paper product exports was a little over €450 million.
The value of pulp exports exceeded €500 million.
Wood products exports develop in tandem with construction volumes

A slowdown in construction activity in the main market countries led to a contraction in demand for and exports of Finnish wood products.

The value of the wood products industry’s exports decreased by 30% to €1.6 billion. The majority of this was sawn timber and 70% of overall sawn timber output was exported. Wood-based panels were exported to the tune of €380 million, while the total value of exports of wooden prefabricated houses and other wood-based products came to €318 million. 

The biggest buyer country of the wood products industry’s goods was the UK, followed by Japan, Germany and France.
Finland is dependant on the export market

“The economic slowdown cut demand for forest industry products substantially in the main markets in 2009 and also reduced the industry’s exports from Finland. Forest industry exports were down 23% on the previous year in 2009. The forest industry’s share of aggregate national goods exports increased to 19.2%, however, as the overall value of Finnish national exports reduced by almost a third,” Käär notes.

“Exports were falling most rapidly in the early part of 2009, but the decrease tempered as the summer approached. In the latter half of the year, export volumes started to increase and narrowly exceeded the previous year’s level at the close of the year. The average export price of forest industry products was around 3% lower in 2009 than in the previous year,” says Käär.

More information:
Esa-Jukka Käär, Chief Economist, Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6616,  +358 40 500 9710