PaperAge Magazine

Finland: Export Price of Pulp in Steep Decline in 2019

Oct. 7, 2020 (Press Release) - In 2019, the value of Finland's goods exports totaled EUR 65 billion. Forest industries accounted for nearly one fifth of total exports, amounting to EUR 12.5 billion. The value of forest exports decreased from the previous year.

The value of forest industry product exports decreased by 6% from the previous year in real terms, totaling EUR 12.47 billion (deflated using the wholesale price index). Of the value of Finland's goods exports, forest industry products accounted for 19%, with the most important product group, i.e. paper, making up 6%.

Finland - Exports of forest products

"Key trading partners were located in Europe and Asia. Europe accounted for 62% and Asia slightly more than one fifth of Finnish forest industry exports. Germany accounted for 14%, China 9% and the UK 7% of earnings from Finnish forest industry exports," says Eeva Vaahtera, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The value of wood products industry exports was EUR 2.76 billion, showing a decrease of 5% from the previous year in real terms. The most significant export products in the wood products industry were sawn goods and plywood. Exports of sawn goods decreased by 7% to EUR 1.73 billion. The largest buyer of sawn goods was China, accounting for 12% of exports. Exports of plywood decreased by slightly more than 10% to EUR 0.50 billion. Germany accounted for 18% of Finnish plywood exports.

Nearly 40% of bleached sulphate pulp exported to China

"The value of exports in the pulp and paper industry reached EUR 9.7 billion. The value of pulp exports was EUR 2.38 billion, accounting for nearly one fifth of total earnings from forest industry exports. In real terms, the value of pulp exports decreased by 10% from the previous year," Vaahtera says.

Of the value of pulp exports, bleached sulphate pulp made up 90%, with China being its largest buyer. Although the volume of bleached sulphate pulp exports increased by 12% from the previous year, its export value fell almost identically by 11%.

The value of paper exports totaled EUR 4.02 billion (-8% from the previous year), covering one third of total value of forest industry exports. Of the value of paper exports, fine paper (-10%) and magazine paper (-4%) made up 82%. Almost one quarter of export value of fine paper came from Germany. The US accounted for the highest value of magazine paper exports. The value of paperboard exports decreased by 2% from the previous year to EUR 2.86 billion. Germany accounted for the highest value of paperboard exports (share of 14%).

The value of imported forest industry products was EUR 1.50 billion, down by 7% from the previous year in real terms. The most important product groups included wooden furniture (19% of the total value of forest industry imports), converted paper and paperboard products (17%) and bleached sulphate pulp (12%). Sweden, Estonia and Russia were the most significant import countries.

Wood is imported from Russia and the Baltic region

Finland imported 11.86 million cubic metres of wood in 2019. The volume of wood imports increased by 3% from the previous year. Of all imported wood, pulpwood made up 57% and wood chips 33%. Logs only accounted for 3%. Pulpwood imports decreased by 7% from the previous year, whereas chip imports increased by more than one quarter. Birch pulpwood was the most imported wood assortment, accounting for 40% of all wood imports. Russia made up 74% and the Baltic region 21% of total imports of wood. The value of wood imports was EUR 0.51 billion.

The volume of Finland's wood exports is considerably lower than the volume of imports. Exports of roundwood totaled 1.89 million cubic metres, down by 4% from the previous year. Of all exported wood, pulpwood made up a little more than half and logs 27%. Of total wood exports, 79% were exported to neighboring Sweden. It was followed by Poland, with its share, however, remaining at 5%.

Information about the statistics
The statistics of foreign trade represent trade in goods between Finland and other countries. Enterprises engaged in foreign trade provide Finnish Customs with information about their activities and, on the basis of this information, Customs compiles the statistics of foreign trade, covering all product groups. Luke compiles the statistics of foreign trade in the forest industries on the basis of information published by Finnish Customs.

SOURCE: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)