2013 timber sales livelier than average – wood costs high

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In 2013, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s member companies procured 33.4 million cubic metres of wood from private forests. This represents an increase of 10 per cent compared to the average procurement volume over the past ten years. Wood stumpage prices increased from the previous year and high roundwood costs weakened industry’s competitiveness on the international market, thus reducing opportunities for additional wood use.

Last year, timber sales got off to a stronger start than in previous years. The pace of trading picked up as summer approached and peaked in May. After a quiet summer holiday season, sales gathered pace again and were steadier than usual for the rest of the year. Thus, the storms in December did not substantially increase timber trade volumes.

Roundwood costs increased from the previous year

In 2013, timber sales volumes were 18 per cent higher than in 2012. Log procurement volumes increased 26 per cent and pulpwood volumes 12 per cent compared to the previous year. Industry procurements amounted to a total of 15.1 million cubic metres of log and 17.1 million cubic metres of pulpwood. The stumpage prices of softwoods log increased 3-4 per cent on average, birch log prices fell one per cent while pine and birch pulpwood prices went up 1-2 per cent. Spruce pulpwood prices remained unchanged.

In December 2013, pine log fetched on average EUR 55 per cubic metre, but prices varied between EUR 45 and EUR 58 depending on the region and logging method. The average price of spruce log was EUR 56 per cubic metre but ranged between EUR 46 and EUR 58. The average price of birch log was EUR 40 per cubic metre with prices varying between EUR 29 and EUR 43. The average stumpage price of pine and birch pulpwood was EUR 16 while spruce pulpwood fetched on average EUR 17 per cubic metre. Pulpwood prices varied between EUR 13 and EUR 19.

Delivery contracts in 2013 accounted for a total of 5 million cubic metres of timber and their share fell from 18 per cent of total timber sales in 2012 to 15 per cent in 2013. About three quarters of delivery contract procurements were pulpwood. In delivery contracts, forest owners deliver timber to the side of the road.

Structural reforms needed to boost activity on the timber market

Finland cannot afford to not make the most of its forests. Its growing stock almost doubles every year compared to logging volumes, and as much as a quarter of sustainable logging opportunities go unused each year.

“The problem is that a great deal of Finland’s forest is not in the sphere of market activity and forests are left unmanaged. The short supply keeps costs high, weakens investment conditions that are based on domestic wood, and does not support the growth of the national economy. The functioning of the timber markets must be improved with structural reforms that revive the forest economy, and tax solutions are a key element in this respect,” says Forests Director Tomi Salo of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

 

For further information contact:

Anu Islander, Senior Advisor, Forestry, Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 9 132 6678, +358 40 729 3678

Tomi Salo, Forests Director, Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 9 132 6610, +358 45 875 8911