Timber sales weak in January after tax break expires

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January timber purchase volumes were about a third lower than in January 2010. Log purchases were down 32% from the corresponding period of last year. Pulpwood purchase volumes increased 4% from January 2010, however.

Prices stable 

The average stumpage price of pine and spruce logs was €51–52 per cubic metre, while birch logs cost €39 per cubic metre. Pine and birch pulpwood fetched €15 per cubic metre on average and spruce pulpwood cost about €17 per cubic metre.

The stumpage prices of softwood logs were down 2%, while the price of birch logs was unchanged from December. Pulpwood prices decreased 3-5%; this was due to an increase in the share of thinning operations, as such sites accounted for 47% of all felling (up from 40%).

Stable demand for industrial wood

Demand for logs and pulpwood remains good, with stands that can be logged in spring and summer being especially sought after. Locations for harvesting this winter have, for the most part, already been purchased, but the needs of different regions and companies vary in this respect. Owners wanting to sell their wood should get in touch with local timber buyers.

The forest industry uses more than 5 million cubic metres of wood as raw material each month – this means that wood procurement is a constantly ongoing process. Demand for different timber grades depends on how the markets for various end products develop.

Sawn timber market unstable

The present troubles in North Africa are adding to the uncertain market situation for sawn timber.   Egypt is the most significant individual export destination for Finnish sawn timber, accounting for 14% of overall exports. Deliveries to Egypt are frozen for the moment.

Further information:
Anu Islander, Senior Adviser (Forestry),
Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 9 132 6678, +358 40 729 3678