September timber sales statistics – Timber sales wane despite a remarkable tax benefit

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The aggregate purchase volume for January-September, 21.8 million cubic metres, is down a third from the corresponding period of 2007.

If purchase volumes remain at the levels realised in the last few weeks, the industry’s annual wood procurement volume will not exceed 40 million cubic metres. This would represent a decrease of more than a fifth from 2007 and is also below the five-year average.

The industry’s January-September purchases of pine pulpwood have remained on the level achieved in 2007. Spruce pulpwood purchases are down a third from the previous year, while birch pulpwood purchases are up 7%.

Birch log purchases came to two thirds of the amount achieved in 2007, but procurements of pine and spruce logs were down by well more than 50%.

Price of wood remains high

Stumpage prices remained largely unchanged in August-September. The average stumpage price of pine and spruce logs was €58 per cubic metre and the average price of birch logs was €50 per cubic metre. Pulpwood stumpage prices increased by 4-5%. On average, pine and birch pulpwood fetched €16-17 per cubic metre and spruce pulpwood €23 per cubic metre.

Prices remain considerably higher than in 2006, the last normal year for timber sales. Softwood logs are 13-16%, birch logs 14%, pine and birch pulpwood 27–30% and spruce pulpwood 5% dearer than in September 2006.

One third of roundwood sales are purchases for delivery

The share of delivery sales, i.e. timber harvested by forest owners themselves, fell clearly in September. However, these transactions accounted for almost one third of the total volume procured in January-September, when they accounted for only 13% in the corresponding period of 2007.  

Further information:

Anu Islander, Senior Advisor (Forestry), Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 (0)9 132 6678, +358 (0)40 729 3678