Roundwood sales somewhat livelier in April – wood need still exceeds availability twofold

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The uncertainty related to a possible tax exemption for timber sourced from first thinning has now been removed and there are no obstacles to livelier roundwood sales activity.

“It is essential from the perspective of the entire forest sector to ensure the steady availability of wood at a competitive price and not just when roundwood prices are peaking. Regular roundwood sales create stable revenues for forest owners and make it possible to develop forestry, in addition to which they help keep the forest industry’s wheels turning,” says President and CEO Anne Brunila of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“If operations in Finland suffer raw material shortages, the structure of the industry will alter permanently. Decreasing revenue streams for forestry and the forest industry are reflected broadly in the operating prerequisites of the forest sector and also have a significant impact on the entire national economy. It is in the interest of all forest sector actors to get timber sales moving in such a way that enables the continuation of profitable wood processing operations in Finland.”

Private forest owners sell 1.6 million cubic metres of roundwood in April

The forest industry was able to purchase 1.6 million cubic metres of roundwood from private forests in April, which represents 65% of the amount purchased in April 2007. January-April purchases from private forest holders increased to 6.2 million cubic metres, which represents about half of the amount for the corresponding period of the previous year. The forest industry needs about 60 million cubic metres of roundwood annually from private forests to ensure the adequate supply of raw materials.  

The industry’s January-April purchases of pine logs amounted only to 37%, spruce logs to 28% and birch logs to 55% of the procurement volumes in the corresponding period of 2007. The industry’s pine and birch pulpwood purchases reached 72% and 83%, respectively, of the amounts procured in the corresponding period of 2007. Spruce pulpwood purchases were down by more than half.

The price of softwood logs has decreased from April 2007 as the world market prices for sawn timber have fallen significantly over the year. The stumpage prices of pine and spruce logs have decreased by 5% and 7%, respectively. The price of birch logs has increased by 9% which reflects the continuing good demand for plywood on the world markets. The average stumpage price of pine and spruce roundwood was €58/m3 in April, while the average stumpage price of birch logs was €51/m3.

The prices of pine and birch pulpwood have increased by 5% from April 2007, while the stumpage price of spruce pulpwood has fallen 5%. in April the average stumpages prices of pine and birch pulpwood were €16–17/m3 and €23/m3 for spruce pulpwood.

Delivery sales now account for half of all procurements  

Demand for pulpwood in particular remains good. The industry is in especial need of felling locations that can be harvested in the summer. Thinning operations should be carried out in time because this promotes rapid growth in the trees left standing and thus increases the productivity of a forest stand.

The market situation for delivery sales, i.e. timber harvested by forest owners themselves, is good. The industry’s delivery sales this April were one-and-a-half times the amount recorded in April 2007. Delivery sales now account for almost half of all sales, up from just a fifth in January-April 2007. The delivery prices of logs have increased by 6-13% over the year, while pulpwood prices are up 15–26%.

For additional information, please contact:

Anu Islander, Senior Advisor, Forestry, tel. +358 9 132 6678, firstname.surname@forestindustries.fi