Finnish production “difficult” in first quarter14 May 2012
The Finnish forest industry's production environment was “difficult” in the first quarter and demand for several product categories was sluggish, according to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF).
“Rapid action is needed to improve the cost-competitiveness of the forest industry in Finland; Finnish production units need to retain their vitality in an intensely competitive international market,” said Timo Jaatinen, director general of FFIF.
“New investments are needed to alter the situation, but they cannot be realised unless domestic production factors such as raw material, energy, logistics and labour costs become competitive with our key rival countries,” says of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
Sawn timber production in January-March came to 2.3 million m³, down 2% from 2011. Plywood production was down 7% from the previous year and totalled 250,000 m³.
Sawn timber exports increased to a million cubic metres in January-March, up 26% from the corresponding period of 2011. The first quarter of last year was affected by the crisis in North Africa, which halted shipments into the region.
Timber sales activity was brisk in the first quarter. The forest industry purchased 6.2 million m³ of wood in January-March, more than double the amount procured in the first quarter of 2011. The sawlog purchase volume rose to 2.8 million m³, while pulpwood procurements came to 3.2 million m³.
Damage from storms around the turn of the year spurred timber sales especially in January. The high price of timber also boosted sales activity.