Forest industry production down 5% in January-March

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Drop in production of sawn goods

Production of sawn goods in Finland totalled about 2.5 million cubic metres, which was 25% less than the year before. The drop was caused by the rapidly weakening market situation. Demand in Central Europe has fallen and the supply has increased, mainly because of shrinking exports to the United States.

The average export price of sawn goods has fallen by about 13% from the peak in August 2007. In January 2008 the export price was still about 1% higher than the year before, however.

The value of sawn goods production in Finland totalled about 550 million euros in January-March.

Plywood production down slightly

Mainly because of a shortage of raw materials, plywood production in January-March amounted to 360,000 cubic metres or about 5% less compared with the year before. The value of plywood production in the first quarter was about 200 million euros.

According to information of the National Board of Customs, the export price of plywood in January 2008 was about 10% higher than the year before.

Paper and paperboard production still on a high level

In the first quarter of 2008 paper and paperboard production remained at a good level. Compared with the year before production nevertheless fell by about 2% to slightly over 3.5 million tonnes. The value of production was about 2.1 billion euros.

In January 2008 the average export price of paper and paperboard was about 1% lower than the year before, according to information of the National Board of Customs.

Pulp production steady

In January-March pulp production totalled about 2 million tonnes, which was roughly the same as in the first quarter last year. Pulp export prices in January were slightly higher than the year before. The value of pulp production was slightly less than 1 billion euros in the first quarter.

For additional information, please contact:

Esa-Jukka Käär, Chief Economist, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6615, esa-jukka.kaar@forestindustries.fi