Recovery of forest industry exports crushed by stevedore strike

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More production will be passed to competing countries and this will lead to job losses in the Finnish forest industry and its associated industries.

The forest industry will lose out on EUR 30 million in export revenues on each day the strike continues.

"Production operations is transferred out of Finland due to the strike. Our export clients will continue to buy paper and wood products, but deliveries are not dispatched from Finland. The strike´s impact will lead to job losses in the forest-based sector of Finland and its associated industries", says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

"The exports of the forest industr started to recover in the second half of 2009, but this strike will snuff out the incipient recovery. Corporate efforts to improve the competitiveness of Finnish production are likewise going to waste," Jaatinen points out. 

"The cost of the docker´s strike will be paid by the export sector. It will also hit the wallets of the employees of the sector and its entire value chain as well as impact negatively on the regions where these companies operate. The strike will cause substantial harm to the national economy and Finland will feel its effects for quite some time."

About 60 percent of the forest industry’s production capacity is located overseas. Some companies can transfer orders to mills in these countries.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Timo Jaatinen, Director General,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
Tel. +358 9 132 6600
    (Assistant to the Director General, Ms Monica
     Lindroos, Tel +358 400 900 801)

Mr. Jari Forss, Executive Vice President, Head of Labour Market Issues, Tel +358 40 570 7652 

Background information for journalists:

The paper industry manufactures 20,000 – 25,000 rolls of paper in Finland on each and every day of the week. One roll weighs about 1.5 tonnes and has a diameter of more than one metre. These large volumes will lead to warehouses filling up rapidly during the strike, forcing a halt to production operations. Around 90% of the paper industry’s production and some 60% of the wood products industry’s production are exported. 

At this time of year, each week that production is halted translates into a 200,000+ cubic metre fall in annual production. A halt in sawmill operations will also lead to an interruption in pulp chip production, depriving pulp mills of a crucial raw material.

The exports and imports of the forest industry rely on the services of over 15 seaports in Finland. Each day of the year, some 20 cargo ships filled with products depart Finland primarily for markets in Europe. Products are delivered to ports using both road and rail transports The forest-based sector annually exports about 20 million tonnes of goods, in addition to which almost the same amount in product raw materials is imported.

There are 50 pulp, paper and paperboard mills, around 170 industrial-scale sawmills and 15 panel product factories in operation at the moment in Finland. These Finnish facilities produce paper products for almost 100 million Europeans and wood products for 50 million customers around the world.

Helena Aatinen,
Senior Vice President (Communications),
tel. +358 9 132 66 45 or  +358 40 548 66 75