Weakened export demand and the harvesting of winter logging sites purchased during the last few years have decreased the need to make procurements.
A rapid fall in demand for exports towards the end of 2008 steered the production volumes of the forest-based sector into a steep decline in Finland. The economic downturn in the main European markets has continued to worsen during the beginning of the year and demand for products is weaker than normal. This had an impact on procurements of wood raw material in February. Over 90% of paper and paperboard production is exported overseas and the share of exports is also high, about 60%, in the wood products industry.
Almost 1.9 million cubic metres of wood were bought from privately owned forests in January-February, down 46% from the corresponding period of 2008. January-February purchases of pine logs were down 37%, spruce logs 29% and birch logs 52% from the corresponding period of the previous year. Purchases of pine pulpwood were down 53%, spruce pulpwood 40% and birch pulpwood 57% from January-February 2008.
Timber prices have not fallen in tandem with demand
Pulpwood prices increased by about one percent from January, while the stumpage prices of softwood logs decreased 3% and the stumpage prices of birch logs fell 6%. The average stumpage price of pine and spruce logs was €45 and the price of birch logs €40 per cubic metre. The average stumpage price of pine and birch pulpwood was €14-15 per cubic metre and the average stumpage price of spruce pulpwood was €20 per cubic metre.
Anu Islander, Senior Adviser (forestry), Sustainable Development & Resources, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. + 358 729 3678