Forest Industry Review, 29 October 2008

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Consumption of paper and board in Europe has likewise slightly fallen this year.

Further drop in production of sawn wood

The global weakening of the sawn wood market that began in the latter part of last year continued in the third quarter and was reflected in the production of sawn wood in Finland.

In July-September 2008 sawn wood production fell by about one-fourth compared with the same period the year before, amounting to about 2.1 million cubic metres. In January-September sawn wood production totalled 7.5 million cubic metres, which was about 2 million cubic metres or over one-fifth less than the year before.

Sawn wood prices have been falling since the middle of 2007. In July 2008 export prices were one-fourth lower than in July 2007.

In January-September the value of sawn wood production amounted to 1.4 billion euros. This means approximately one third’s drop in sawn wood turnover compared with the corresponding period in 2007.

Slight decline in plywood production

Plywood production also fell during the third quarter. Production amounted to 300,000 cubic metres, which was about 8% lower than the year before.

In January-September plywood production in Finland totalled slightly over one million cubic metres, down about 4% from the year before. The value of production was nearly 600 million euros.

Paper and board production down 5%

In the third quarter paper and board production fell by about 7% compared with the same period last year.

In January-September production was down 5% compared with the year before. Production of paper and board in Finland totalled 10.2 million tons or about 600,000 tons less than the year before. The drop in production was due to the closing of capacity on the one hand and downtime due to the weakened market situation on the other. The value of paper and board production in January-September exceeded 6 billion euros, according to estimates.

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For more information:

Chief Economist Esa-Jukka Käär, +358 9 132 6616,