Finland's Forest Industry Shows Growth in First Half 2011

Aug. 12, 2011 - The Finnish Forest Industries Federation reported that Finland's forest industry production during the first half of 2011 showed positive signs of growth.

"Forest industry production has recovered both from the recession and from the structural change. As the economic situation is once again becoming more challenging, it is important to establish favourable conditions that support the forest industry’s domestic operating environment,” says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“The stricter application of the Sulphur Directive in the Baltic Sea area that was adopted by the EU in July threatens to increase the forest industry’s transport costs, which would jeopardise the cost-competitiveness of Finnish manufacturing facilities. The Finnish Government must actively engage the other Baltic Sea countries in an effort to combat the cost impact of this decision and safeguard the operating prerequisites of the export sector,” Jaatinen points out.

“Exports create half of Finland’s prosperity. This underlines the significance of upholding the industry’s operating prerequisites, as they help generate export revenues and jobs.”

Finnish Forest Industry Production – January-June 2011

The total value of forest industry production is estimated to have been about EUR 10.5 billion in January-June, up some 10% from the corresponding period of 2010.

Finland produced 3.5 million tonnes of pulp as well as 5.8 million tonnes of paper and paperboard in January-June 2011. Paper and paperboard production volumes remained on a par with the first half of 2010, while pulp production was up 2% from the comparison period. The price of pulp has continued to rise, while the prices of different paper grades have remained quite stable following the price hikes, which were implemented in the early part of the year.

Sawn timber production came to about 5.4 million cubic metres in January-June, up some 8% from the corresponding period of 2010. Plywood production increased 16% in the first half of the year. Construction activity has picked up in some European regions, such as the Nordic countries.

The forest industry purchased 7 million cubic metres of wood in April-June, with all timber grades in good demand. The volume of purchases more than doubled from the first quarter of the year. Timber prices are now at their highest level for a few years and also higher than the average of the 2000s.

SOURCE: Finnish Forest Industries Federation