Timber sales weak in November

Press releases |
Exceptionally rapid and powerful changes affecting the world markets are making the estimation of future wood needs increasingly difficult.

The aggregate purchase volume for January-November was 28.5 million cubic metres, which is some 10% less than the average figure for the corresponding period in the last five years. 

The forest industry is constantly procuring timber to prepare for future needs. Logging stands that can be harvested in the summer as well as when weather conditions are bad are preferred at the moment. Demand for winter cutting stands is limited as a wealth of these were procured in earlier years, but have still not been harvested because of mild weather during the previous two winters.

Wood needs vary regionally as well as according to tree species and company. Forest owners should be active about offering their wood on the market. The 50% tax shield the State is offering will remain in force until the end of 2009. 

Fibrewood demand remains good

January-November purchases of pine fibrewood continued to show a 2% year-on-year increase, while procurements of birch fibrewood were up by about 8%. Purchases of spruce fibrewood were down 26% from the corresponding period of 2007.

Purchases of birch logs came to a little over 70% of the volume achieved during the previous year, while procurements of pine and spruce logs were down by about half because of poor market conditions in the sawmilling industry.

Stumpage prices fall somewhat

Stumpage prices in November fell by 4-6% compared to October. The average stumpage price of pine and spruce logs was €54-55 per cubic metre. On average, birch logs fetched €48, pine and birch fibrewood €16-17 and spruce fibrewood €23 per cubic metre.

The average export prices of sawn timber have already fallen to levels last seen in 2005, but softwood logs remain 16-26% more expensive than then – this has made the financial situation of the sawmilling industry even more difficult.

Further information:

Timber sales statistics: www.forestindustries.fi

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