The average cost of wood raw material is still higher in Finland than in competing countries.
About 2.3 million cubic metres of wood were bought from privately owned forests in January-March, down 51% from the corresponding period of 2008.
Purchases of pine logs were down 42%, spruce logs 33% and birch logs 58% from January-March 2008. Purchases of pine pulpwood were down 58%, spruce pulpwood 47% and birch pulpwood 60% from January-March 2008.
Raw materials costs remain higher than in competing countries
Log prices fell by 2-4% from February, while pine and birch pulpwood prices decreased by 3-5%. The price of spruce pulpwood remained on the previous month’s level, however. The average stumpage price of pine and spruce logs was €44 and the price of birch logs €39 per cubic metre. The average stumpage price of pine and birch pulpwood was €14 and the average stumpage price of spruce pulpwood was €20 per cubic metre.
Almost 50% of the wood consumed by the forest industry is pine. The price of a pine log is substantially higher in Finland than in, for example, Sweden. Pine pulpwood prices are roughly the same. The total cost of wood procurements is thus greater in Finland than it is in Sweden because all trees growing on a felling site have to be purchased together – transactions cannot be limited to a single tree species or to just logs or pulpwood.
The industry needs competitively priced wood
The greater part of the Finnish forest industry’s production is exported – the share of exports is 90% in the case of paper and paperboard products and more than 60% for wood products.
The forest industry’s cost level in Finland must be steered towards a level at which the manufacturing of products is worthwhile. Only a vigorous forest industry can create prosperity for Finland by processing Finnish timber into consumer goods and by developing new, innovative products.
Anu Islander, senior adviser (forestry), sustainable development & resources, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 (0)9 132 6678, +358 (0)40 729 3678