The forest industry’s September purchases of pine and spruce logs increased slightly from the early part of the year, but the aggregate purchase volume for January-September was nevertheless 64% lower than in the corresponding period of 2008. Birch log purchase volumes were 80%, pine and birch pulpwood 79% and spruce pulpwood 76% lower than in January-September 2008.
The forest industry purchased some 5.8 million cubic metres of wood from private forests in January-September. This is equal to only about a quarter, or 26%, of the amount procured during the corresponding period of 2008.
Cost competitiveness must be looked after
The stumpage prices of spruce logs increased by five percent and pine log stumpage prices by four percent from August to €45 per cubic metre on average. Birch log stumpage prices remained unchanged at €36 per cubic metre. Pine pulpwood stumpage prices increased four percent to an average of €14 per cubic metre and birch pulpwood stumpage prices three percent to €13 per cubic metre. The price of spruce pulpwood remained almost unchanged at €18 per cubic metre.
Stable price developments are in the interests of both sellers and buyers of wood. Forest industry corporations, which operate internationally, have detected indications that the prices of different timber grades have decreased more in several other countries than they have in Finland over the last year.
Tax benefit still available for a few months
Forest owners still have a few months to take advantage of the 50% tax benefit on timber sale revenues. The tax break is available for timber sales that have been concluded by the end of 2009 and paid by the end of 2010. Pine and spruce logs remain the most sought-after timber grades. Energy-wood sales have been lively throughout the beginning of the year and demand for birch pulpwood also looks to be recovering.
Anu Islander, Senior Advisor (Forestry),
Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 9 132 6678