The Finnish forest industry managed to purchase some 3.7 million cubic metres of wood from private forests in January-July. This represents a little more than a third, or 35%, of the amount procured during the corresponding period of 2008.
Even though the overall economic situation remains quite bleak according to the cyclical barometer published by the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, the outlook for the forest industry appears to be improving somewhat. A slight increase in timber sales activity over the last few weeks also serves as an indicator of this development trend.
July’s timber purchase volumes increased by 11% from June and stood at about 398,000 cubic metres. Purchases of pine logs were 62%, spruce logs 61% and birch logs 76% lower than in January-July 2008.
Purchases of pine and birch pulpwood were about 75% and spruce pulpwood 69% lower than during the corresponding period of 2008.
Prices remained almost unchanged
Pine and spruce log stumpage prices decreased 2% from June and were on average €43 per cubic metre in July, while birch log prices decreased by 3% and stood at €36 per cubic metre on average.
The stumpage price of pine pulpwood fell by 1%, spruce pulpwood by 8% and birch pulpwood by 6%. Pine pulpwood cost €13, spruce pulpwood €18 and birch pulpwood €12 per cubic metre.
Logs are in demand – forest owners should avail of available tax benefit
Sawmills need wood to enter the market at a competitive price or else they will be forced to restrict production because of raw material shortages. January-July log purchase volumes have decreased by 63% from the corresponding period of 2008. One fifth of felling potential is left unexploited each year, leaving a substantial amount of marketable timber standing in forests around the country.
Finland’s private forest owners play a key role in ensuring the availability of wood for the forest industry and they should take advantage of the 50% tax break on wood sales revenue which remains in force until the end of the year.
Anu Islander, Senior Advisor (Forestry), Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6678